One of my great pleasures in life is reading, but guilt sneaks in whenever I sit down to imbibe in a gluttony of chapters.
"A waste of time," whispers the little voice in my head. "You must vacuum, dust, write something, or cook a meal … anything but read."
The truth is that reading is a necessity. Reading exercises our brains and reduces stress while increasing our personal knowledge and vocabulary. Memory is strengthened as we deal with plots and subplots and work to keep all the characters straight. We learn analytical thinking skills and improve our focus and concentration.
Of course, we have to ask what we are reading. Is it worthy of our time, or would we be better off vacuuming? Jesus often prodded His listeners to read by asking questions like this:
- Have you never read what David did that time when he and his men were hungry? (Matthew 12:3 GNT)
- Have you never read in the Law that on the Sabbath the priests in the temple violate the sanctity of the Sabbath [breaking it] and yet are guiltless? (Matthew 12:5 AMPC)
- Have you never read that He Who made them from the beginning made them male and female? (Matthew 19:4 AMPC)
- Have you never read, "From the lips of children and infants you, Lord, have called forth your praise"? (Matthew 21:16 NIV 2011)
- Have you never read in the Scriptures: "The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone"? (Matthew 21:42a NIV 2011)
- But as to the resurrection of the dead — have you never read what was said to you by God? (Matthew 22:31 AMPC)
What would Jesus say to Christians today? Studies have shown that Christians are now woefully ignorant of the Scriptures. Consequently, they are being taken in by so many of the world's touted standards. Even Christian denominations seem to be adopting policies contrary to biblical standards. Would Jesus not be saying to us, "Have you never read in the Scriptures … ?"
So, enjoy your read with Jesus, and ignore the voice of guilt screaming, "This is a waste of time." Time with Jesus in the Scriptures is always well spent.
Prayer: Lord God, You always have time for us. We promise today to take time for You. Amen.