I do a lot of reading. In addition to God’s Word, I read novels, cookbooks, blogs, articles, non-fiction books and more. Some of this reading is for fun. Other reading is for instruction or information. Some I approach casually. Other with skepticism. Some things I read might instruct my behavior. Other things I dismiss as irrelevant or even wrong. But it’s different when I read the Bible.
The Bible is uniquely different from everything else ever written. Which means we must read the Bible differently from the way we read anything else. The Bible was not written by man, but directly inspired by God Himself. God’s words, God’s heart, given to us. How should we approach the Bible? What attitudes are vital to not only read God’s Word, but to really hear it, to be shaped by it? (See also “4 Truths the Bible Teaches about Itself.” and “What Does it Mean that the Bible was Inspired?”)
I need an attitude adjustment
The mere fact that we own a copy of the Bible is miraculous. Think about it. The Creator of the universe has revealed Himself to lowly mankind. He gave His words to us and used human authors to record them. Then, God miraculously preserved His words for centuries. And it is as relevant today as it was two millennium ago. Yet, we so often approach the Bible so casually and haphazardly. (See also “Do You Read the Bible all Wrong?”) Instead, we should approach God’s Word with not only a sense of awe and wonder, but with extreme reverence. God’s words are an extension of God Himself. God’s Word carries the same authority for us as God Himself.
3 Attitudes We Need to Read the Bible
So, how should we approach God’s Word? Here are 3 attitudes that will put us in the right mindset, reading to hear and respond to what God has for us.
- Humility – Far too often I approach God’s Word with some level pride. Pride in thinking I already know this passage. Pride that I don’t need what He has to say. Oh, but pride is a great deceiver, keeping me from everything God has for me in His Word. Do I really want God to teach me? To use me for His purposes? Then I must humbly allow Him to correct, rebuke, and train me through His Word (2 Timothy 3:16-17). “He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them His way” (Psalm 25:9).
- Submission – Some days I take God’s Word far too casually. I read it and hear His gentle whisper to “tell” or “do” or “go” or “stop.” And I consider obedience. The Bible is God’s authority for my life. It is living, actively penetrating the deepest parts of my heart, mind, and soul to judge my attitudes, thoughts, behaviors, and intentions. To make me more like Jesus. How dare I ever tell Him “no.”
- Anticipation – God’s Word is light and life and hope. It guides, delivers, and comforts. God’s laws are right and true and trustworthy. The Word of God gives wisdom and joy. I should run to read His Word each day, greatly anticipating the treasure I will find there. Sometimes I do, but not always. (See also “4 Spiritual Benefits from God’s Word.”)
God has reminded me today I need a little attitude adjustment. What about you? Do you approach God’s Word with humility, submission, and anticipation?
Lord God, adjust my attitude today. Forgive me of pride and foster a humble spirit within me. Help me submit to the authority of Your Word, so that I will live a life a full obedience to You. And grant me the joy of anticipation, always delighting in the discovery of Your Word. Amen.