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Does the Bible bore you?

The Bible is the most remarkable book ever written, read by more people than any other book by a mile, and yet if you're completely honest, you'd have to admit that at times the Bible bores you. We'll admit it. There are times when we read the Bible out of obligation rather than from a heart of expectation. Why is that? Why do we sometimes get bored when we read the Bible?

We've thought about this and have a theory. See what you think. Our theory starts with the fact that we humans are a self-centered bunch. We're always looking for our own best interests, doing things that make us feel better, and basically orienting everything we do around us, including the Bible. Even as followers of Christ, we live as if we're the center of the universe, and so the Bible becomes just one more thing to add to our lives, like a self-help book.

But God is the center of the universe, not us, and the Bible is His personal message to us. By reading it, we can find out what God has said throughout history and what He is saying to us right now so we can orient our lives--our habits, behaviors, morality, and our beliefs--around the Bible.

Approaching the Bible this way does have a downside. It puts you in direct conflict with the story of the world. You see, the story of the Bible features an immortal, immaterial, eternal, and perfectly just and holy God who has reached out to a fallen humanity through the person and work of Jesus Christ.

By contrast, the story of the world is self-focused and human centered. Meaning and fulfillment is found in individal effort and achievement. Salvation isn't needed because we aren't that bad off. The meaning of life hinges on the meaning you bringto it through your own deeds.

Because this way of thinking has so permeated the mindset of humanity, including many Christians, our default setting is to bring all of our interests, passions, and skills to our relationship with God and our reading of the Bible. We are so caught up in what we want to achieve and become that we hope God will bless what we are doing. But again, this is backward. Mike Erre explains the right way of approaching our relationship with God: 

We exist to discover how to get on board with God's program, not the other way around. your life will never be a success if you spend all of your time and energy trying to figure out how Christianity can help you (Why the Bible Matters, 133).

If you have found the Bible to be boring and irrelevant to your life, it's likely that you have been trying to fit the grand story of the Bible into your own world. Don't get us wrong. Your world is meaningful and important, and it's important to God. But rather than wondering why God doesn't pay more attention to you, try taking on the attitude of King David, who had every reason to brag about his accomplishments, but instead saw himself correctly in comparison to the great creator God.

When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is humankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them? (Psalm 8:3-4).

Just as the universe is not about you, the Bible is not about you. The Bible is about God. But it was written by God for you, that you may understand who God is, believe that He wants to have a relationship with you, and trust Him with your life--both now and forever. 

There's nothing boring about that. Just the opposite. When you fit your story into God's story, the Bible can become the most interesting, fascinating, utterly fulfilling book you can ever read. Ever.

Comments

The Bible doesn't bore me. It is my life. If I feel sad or frustrated, I read the bible and find some answers in there. - Dr Marla Ahlgrimm

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About
Christianity 101 is a collection of books and digital resources by Bruce Bickel and Stan Jantz that talk about God in a way that encourages people to grow in their faith.