Thursday, December 29, 2016

My Bible Reading Trap

This time of year I love making lists. I have a list of lists, in fact. Just moments ago, I created a file called, "Life Lists 2017." And reviewing my list of lists from 2016 is actually kind of fun. *pats self on back*

But this check-it-off mentality gets tricky in real life. I mean the real, eternal perspective. Does God even care about my lists? Part of my spiritual check list is reading the Bible through every year. That works together very well with my goal of reading the Bible every day. Those are important items to check off the list.

Then one Saturday a few weeks ago, I sensed God challenging my pride about my spiritual check list. Could I go for a day without reading the Bible? My Bible reading had become a source of my sense of spiritual worthiness. God needed to show me that my status before him was not contingent upon my effort. I'm still learning that lesson.

Here's my current dilemma. I'm on track to finish the Bible in 2016 (following the devotional guide, Dare to Summit: Read It Thru, by my friend Guy Andrews). I could actually finish the Bible today or tomorrow, which would put me ahead of the game. But if I finish the Bible on Dec. 30, then what Bible reading will I do on Dec. 31? Of course I could read any random passage on Dec. 31. But if I start the Bible over again this year, then it could mean that I don't read the whole Bible in 2017--the first day's reading would have been done in 2016. 

OK, as I write this, I realize how stupid it is. But it shows how weak and fallen my faith is. Do I need to brag that I read the Bible through in 2017? What if I don't quite finish it? What if I miss some days of reading the Bible? It's ridiculous that I put such stock in my own performance.

What does God really want from me? Is he really going to say, "Well done, thou good and faithful list checker?" He really wants my heart, not my check boxes.

More often than not, giving him my heart has nothing to do with my lists. He doesn't love me because I perform. He just loves me. That's what has to sink in to me.