Why are some Christians bored with the Bible?
In 2010, while doing some Bible engagement polling, I asked a woman in her fifties if she read the Bible. She said, “Yes, many years ago, from cover to cover.” “Do you still read it?” I asked. “No”, she said, “I much prefer a good novel or something stimulating. Frankly, the Bible is boring, and reading it once, was more than enough.”
On another occasion, after I’d preached a message from Hebrews 4:12, a young man said to me, “Pastor, I know the Bible is a good book, and I know I should be reading it, but it’s really difficult and confusing. And to be honest, I find it boring.” His words pulled me up short. I’d spent 30 minutes passionately speaking about how the Bible is living and active, and yet the reality for this earnest millennial, was that the Bible was wearisome and disinteresting.
Then there’s my own reality. Since the late 70’s when I became a Christian, I’ve had seasons where I’ve passionately loved reading the Bible. It’s been exciting, engaging, transformational, and so much more. Then there’s been times when Bible reading has been a hard slog – dry, dreary and depressing. And occasionally, I’m just not there – more interested in opening my browser and going to Facebook, than in opening up the Bible.
Reason argues that it’s impossible to be bored with the Bible. After all, the Bible is God’s Word – the Voice of life, truth, hope, wisdom, grace, salvation and so much more. Surely what comes from the heart and mouth of God can’t be boring.
If God, in and of Himself, is not and cannot be boring, then the reason why some Christians are bored with the Bible must lie elsewhere.
When I fell in love with Karen, I loved to listen to everything she said or sung. We’d talk for hours on end and I’d hang on every word, delighting in every inflection in her voice.
I’ve been happily married to Karen for more than three decades, but I have to admit that I don’t always listen to her with the same enthusiasm as when we first fell in love.
Maybe that’s what sometimes happens with our Bible reading – we’re not really listening. The problem isn’t with the Word, it’s with us.
If being bored with the Bible is a listening issue, then the remedy is possibly found in learning or re-learning how to open our spiritual ears. Here are three things we need to do to hear God’s Voice:
- Confess sin (cf. James 1:21). Un-confessed sin is like spiritual earwax – if it’s not removed it eventually makes us deaf.
- Remove distractions (cf. Luke 8:7). Don’t let video games, music, banter, busyness, cares, or concerns of the world keep you from hearing the Voice of God.
- Lean in (cf. Jeremiah 29:12-13, James 4:8). The closer we are to God, the better we’ll hear Him.
Now it’s your turn to have your say. Why do you think some Christians are bored with the Bible?
© Scripture Union Canada 2016