Making perfect the enemy of the good as a disciple of Christ

August 23, 2012

“This time you’ll stick with it,” the back cover tells me.

I’ve confessed to you before that I’m a sucker for buying Bibles. Sadly, I like buying them more than reading them. When I say “reading,” let’s be clear (in case my bishop is reading this): I’m excluding the necessary reading that I do as part of my job—to prepare sermons and such. I do a lot of that kind of reading. Although I thoroughly enjoy this kind of Bible-reading, I’m getting paid to do it, so that doesn’t count.

I’m talking about the Bible reading that I do when no one else is looking. Like dragging myself out of bed earlier than normal or carving out space in the evening in order to read for no other purpose than simply to hear God speak to me. That’s the hard kind of reading, which I fail to do every day (so far).

Even when I was a layperson taking Disciple Bible study, I didn’t read every day. I read every second or third day, and a lot the night before our small-group meeting. Some of you know what I’m talking about.

In fact, one theme of my Bible-purchasing habit is that I’m constantly looking for the Bible that will make this hard kind of reading easier.

My most recent Bible purchase in this regard was the new Daily Companion Bible, from the Common English Bible people. I only bought it, or so I told myself, because I left my earlier edition of the CEB in Panama City on the youth beach retreat earlier this summer and needed to replace it. For almost the same price, I got the CEB plus some devotional material that makes reading the Bible every day a breeze, or so it says. In fact, the tagline on the back cover says, “This time you’ll stick with it.”

How does it know me so well? It’s like the publisher was clairvoyant or something.

It’s only been a month and already I haven’t stuck with it, of course. Daily Bible reading is a great goal, but I haven’t attained it. On the bright side, however, I am reading the Bible more frequently now than before. That’s something, right?

I may be unable to read the Bible every day, but I’ll bet I can read it today. And if I read it today, that ain’t bad. And if I fail to read it tomorrow, that won’t be the end of the world.

I’m reflecting on this personal struggle of mine because of something I read just now from Rachel Evans’s blog that you might find very helpful.

Does it ring true to your experience as a disciple of Jesus?

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