Have you ever been in such a rush that you gulped down a meal too quickly to really enjoy it?
We live in a fast-paced world that doesn’t prioritize taking time to care for ourselves and others. As Christians, sometimes this problem shows up when we spend time reading the Bible. All sixty-six books of the Bible make up a rich, multi-genre love letter from God to His people. It tells us the story of Jesus and unfolds what the good news of His death and resurrection means for us. But, in our busyness, we often feel like we need to rush through reading Scripture.
The good news is—even when we feel pressured to get the maximum productivity out of every moment—Jesus gives us rest from all that hurry. What’s one of the ways we can remember the rest He gives us? By taking time to really chew on the passages we read in the Bible.
Moving more slowly through our Bible reading helps us in several ways. First, it allows us to remember that God is not in a hurry. We are secure in Him and His love. Second, it lets us meditate (a word that means “to chew”) on what God has said as we go about our days. This allows us to understand all the more fully how central Jesus is to our lives. Third, it gives us time to figure out what questions we have about the passages we’re reading, which in turn allows us to reach out to trusted Christian people and resources to help us better understand the context of what we read.
Next time you read the Bible, remember that you have time to chew on it. You don’t need to rush. God’s love for you holds steady, and in the Bible, we find the true story of how Jesus embodies this love through His death and resurrection. That’s a story worth meditating on. • A. W. Smith
• Reading Scripture is one of the ways God invites us to interact with Him. Everyone’s life circumstances, gifts, and learning styles are different. When are good times of the day or week for you to take time to chew on the Bible? Do you prefer to read it silently, read it aloud, or have it read to you?
• Who are trusted Christians you could reach out to when you have questions about the Bible—such as pastors, counselors, parents, teachers, etc.? If no one comes to mind, you can ask God to help you find some people who can walk with you through your questions, including helping you find reputable and scholarly Christian resources for studying the Bible well.
I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways. Psalm 119:15 (NIV)