I was reading the warning information on some medication I give my son daily, and it talked about proper dosage. One point was about how if you miss a dose, you shouldn’t double your next dose in order to catch up. It could be harmful to your health.
My brain admittedly works in mysterious ways. For some reason, I made a connection to our practice of reading the Bible daily; like when you are reading a daily devotional or if you are on a daily reading plan.
Missing a Dose
What happens if you miss a day? Should you just move on to the next day or double-up your reading in order to catch up? And what happens if you miss several days or even weeks?
In our performance oriented culture, many of us would feel compelled to catch up by doing your current reading as well as what you had missed. It can quickly get overwhelming. Or we might feel guilty or lazy if we skipped the missed days and just moved on.
While I won’t say the act of trying to catch up with your Bible reading is harmful to your health, I do believe the pressure we put on ourselves to catch up IS harmful to our health.
While I won’t say the act of trying to catch up with your Bible reading is harmful to your health, I do believe the pressure we put on ourselves to catch up IS harmful to our health. I don’t believe God is concerned with you “catching up”.
The Pressure to Finish
We need to get away from thinking that we must “finish” a study, “finish” a reading plan, or “finish” reading the Bible. If you are an “A” type of person, that’s a hard thing to get your head around. However, reading daily is primarily a practice to stay connected to God. But too often, we view it as a mechanistic process of filling our brains with helpful information. That’s the wrong approach.
Think about that for a second. If it was about a relationship with God, would you really be concerned about needing to “catch up”? If you ran into God at the supermarket or at Starbucks, would you feel compelled to have ALL of the conversations you missed at that brief moment? Certainly not! You would give a quick update and then talk about what’s going on NOW!
Be in a Relationship
So, similar to how we are advised to take medication, our mental and spiritual health can be improved if we treat our daily “dose” of scripture reading in the same manner. If you miss a day or even a week, don’t sweat it. Just pick up where you left off or skip to the current day’s “dose”.
And remember that while it’s certainly important to continue feeding your brain with the Bible’s truth, it’s more important to use your Bible reading time to be in relationship with God and focus on what He has to say through His word, in that moment.