Oh Boredom, Wherefore Art Thou?

o-brother-where-art-thou1Ask 1,000 randomly selected people to give you the first word that comes to mind when you say, “Bible,” and what do you think the most popular answers will be?  I suppose “God” would be number one and “Jesus” would be number two.  Then, if your random folks are honest, “boring” would come in at a strong number three.  Hey, don’t shoot me, I’m just the messenger.

Let’s get real.  Most people think the Bible is boring.  Heck, as much as I love the Bible (and I really do love it, even if sometimes it doesn’t show), there are times when I lose the desire to read it.  A day turns into two, then two days become a week, and all of a sudden it’s been an age since I’ve spent any quality time with the Bible.

You probably have similar feelings.  After all, “no temptation has seized you except what is common to mankind.” If so, you’ve come to the right place, because today I’m sharing Tips on How to Enjoy the Bible.

Where did I come up with these tips?  In my own battle to keep things fresh.  These pointers have been bought and paid for at the School of Boredom.  They’ve worked for me and they’ll work for you.  And away we go!

  1. Red-letter Reduction.  A red-letter Bible means the words of Jesus are printed in red ink; it’s been boiled down with the very best stuff separated from all the other stuff.  If you don’t have such a Bible, invest in one and spend a few days reading nothing but what comes from the mouth of Jesus.
  2. Gripe Check.  It’s not what you think.  You think I’m going to tell you to be content.  No, I’m going to suggest that you read the first line or two of a bunch of Psalms and note how many of them start off with griping or complaining or fear.  These are spiritual giants griping and complaining and worrying about the sky falling.  It’s fun to see that you’re not the only one.
  3. Gripe Checkmate.  Now go through some of those same, whiney Psalms and note how many end with griping and fear.  The answer is “next to none,” but don’t take my word for it.  Poke around in the Psalms for example after example of how to do an attitude adjustment.
  4. The So-What Flush.  Pick any story in the New Testament.  They’re only a couple of paragraphs and it’ll take only a minute or two to read the one you choose.  Then ask yourself, “So what?  Why did God include this story in the Bible?”  The So-What Flush flushes out benefits and good news, and benefits are fun.
  5. Goodness or Grievance.  Pick any story in the Old Testament.  Not any book, just any story within a book, like Exodus f’rinstance.  After reading the story, ask yourself, “Is this story an example of God’s goodness or God’s grievance?  If it’s about God’s goodness, that goodness remains to this day and forever.  If it’s about God’s grievance, that grievance has been resolved by the finished work of Jesus, so there’s your good news no matter how scary the story may be.
  6. QuickBooks.  There are 27 books in the New Testament and 17 of them can be read from beginning to end in about 10 minutes or less.  You may never slog your way through the Bible from cover to cover, but you can read all the QuickBooks in one weekend with time to spare.
  7. 5-minute Expert.  Choose any “QuickBook” and become an expert on that book.  For example, if you were to invest 30 minutes per day for one month in Ephesians, you’d know more about Ephesians than anybody in town.  It’s fun to be an expert.  I know because I am an expert on where to find every free cup of coffee in town.ohbrother2
  8. Psalm Funday.  God was really smart to include 150 Psalms in the Bible.  By reading just five Psalms per day you can read them all in one month.  If today is the 20th, read Psalm 20, then add 30 and read Psalm 50, then add 30 and read Psalm 80 and so forth.  Start over tomorrow with Psalm 21.  On average, this will take about 10 minutes per day.  By the end of the month your prayer life may be sizzling again and you’ll feel closer to God.
  9. The Book of By the Way.  Read one proverb every day for 31 days.  Notice that Proverbs doesn’t have much to say about heaven or hell.  It’s a book for here and now.  It’s full of pointers on how to keep from screwing up the one life you’ve been given to live on earth.  Since most of your problems are self-inflicted, Proverbs will help you keep from getting knocked off by friendly fire.  It’s God saying, “Oh, and btw.”  It’s like your mom saying, “Oh, and don’t forget your lunch,” except on a much grander scale.
  10. Bible Bucket List.  Each and every time you read your Bible, invite the Holy Spirit to be a part of it.  As you read, listen for suggestions on what to read next time and jot them down on your Bible Bucket List.  While you’re reading, the Holy Spirit can be planning.  He wants to keep you in the Bible and He wants you to enjoy it, so He’s full of cool ideas on how to keep the thrills and chills coming.
  11. I Done Seen the Light, Boys.  We’re getting close to the end of this post and so far there’s no connection between the words and the pictures.  The connection is that The Soggy Bottom Boys are fun guys and this post is about how to have fun with your Bible.  Remember, we’re all about Gospel Truth and Good, Clean Fun around here!
  12. Love Letter.  Never forget that the Bible is not a book about God.  It’s a book about God’s love for you.  It’s a love letter, and love letters are always fun.

Get high on him.  Stay high on him. Peace.

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Tommy Libre