Good, but not the main, reason

One author seeks to motivate people to read their Bibles by doing it for others.

We can easily find a time and space to read the Bible, to ponder it, and to pray. But maybe this individual practice has spawned an individual spirit. Maybe we see devotions as something we do first for ourselves. In that way it is easy enough to let the practice go, like skipping a meal or missing that workout at the gym. It isn’t hard to take a pass if I’m the only one bearing the consequences.

But the benefit of personal devotions goes far beyond self. The benefit of knowledge of God and intimacy with God extends to your family, to your neighbors, to your church. If you can’t or won’t do devotions for your own sake, won’t you do it for the sake of others? Won’t you do it for their good, even if not for your own? / via One Very Good Reason to Read Your Bible

I appreciate the author’s attempt to motivate people to read the Bible. He is correct that we can, if we want, easily find a time to read and study the Bible. And to have a regular personal devotional time in order to benefit others is certainly a good reason.

It cannot be the main reason, however. Long have preachers been warned not to read the Bible thinking of next Sunday’s sermon. This is a good and proper warning. (The article above reminded me of this advice.) In the same way, if one does personal devotions thinking of others, one very well may fail to apply the truths and principles to one’s own life. That would mean failure to grow in Christ.

Before one can share the gospel with others, one must receive it oneself. The disobedient have nothing to say to those outside of Christ. Just as airline travelers are told to put the oxygen masks on themselves before helping others, in case of an emergency, so disciples must take care of themselves first so that the help they give those near to them is a genuine reflection of love, an act of informed grace, a move of personal integrity.

Probably, the author of the article would not dicker with me, as I don’t dicker overall with his point. Call this an addendum to his point.

#bible-reading, #devotional-time, #motivations