A quick fix.

Take a pill to lose weight, lower cholesterol, and calm our nerves. We love a quick fix. Sometimes I think we read the Bible looking for a quick fix. “Just read this passage, apply what it says, and you’ll be fine.”

I want to make a bold proposal in this little blog today. I propose we stop applying the Bible.

Well…kind of. Let me explain what I mean.

How often do we read the Bible looking to create a list of “actionable items” for the week to come? That is, we read, study, and then from our reading and study create a “to do list.” Sometimes that’s good. If two Christians are threatening to litigate each other, we can read, study, and apply 1 Corinthians 6 so they won’t take each other to court. That’s a good thing to do.

But when we read the Bible purely to put together a to do list of actionable items for the day or week to come, we are missing a major way in which the Bible seeks to shape us: by forming our hearts.

Another way to engage with God’s Word is to recognize it’s operating underneath the surface to change our hearts, minds, and wills so that we become people who make good decisions. One purpose of reading, studying, and meditating on the Bible is less about applying a to do list than becoming the kind of person who naturally discerns the right thing to do because the heart has been transformed.

So let’s approach our Bible reading a bit differently. Rather than reading it purely to put together a to do list for the week to come, let’s read it, study it, meditate on it, and let it shape the very core of our beings so that we become people who do the right things.

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