Don’t lose Your Bible among the Texbooks
The Beacon Bolt is a publication of the student body of Northwest Christian University. As busy college students taking the final transitional steps into adulthood, the amount of classes, work, and various obligations we have to fit into our schedules steadily increases. Some of these things that make a demand on our time are more important than others, and we all learn pretty quickly that prioritizing is a must. Homework before hangout, work before play, etc. A lot of these are fairly easy to discern the importance of. It’s probably a good idea to finish studying before playing video games, scrapbooking, or whatever hobbies you may have; and waiting to get enough chapel credit before taking midday naps. At this time of year, the workload tends to get even bigger for those of us in school, and time management becomes a key to succeeding. Knowing the order of importance of our different engagements, and knowing how to prioritize them is critical, but not necessarily difficult. Generally, I think we all have a fairly good idea of what things should be high on our priority list, even though occasionally we might not give something in our lives as much time as we ought to. School, for instance, we can all agree is vital, but we’re not always the best at dedicating enough time to it in order to get the full benefit. Setting aside enough time to grow in our walk with Christ is another area I think most of us could agree is essential, but don’t always dedicate ourselves to.
The biggest thing that I, and I’m guessing quite a few others struggle to prioritize appropriately is reading the Bible. There are many facets to a person’s walk with Christ; worship, lifestyle, communing with others, church, prayer, and spending time in the Word. Spending time in the Word. In theory it should be the easiest of these things to do, but at least for me personally, it’s the hardest. A lot of times I just plain forget, or when I have a few free minutes I decide to check one of my newsfeeds when I know it would be a perfect time to read a few verses and recharge. Other times when I’m in the middle of something I’ll tell myself that I’ll read when I get home or before I go to bed, and most of the time it ends up not happening.
At the beginning of the school year, our soccer coach challenged everyone on the team to try reading the Bible every day, for at least five minutes. I thought, just five minutes? That sounds pretty easy, I think I can do that. Ironically, even five minutes daily can be pretty tough when we have a bunch of other priorities that we’re trying to juggle. Reading daily is a challenge for me, yet when I actually do sit down and read it’s hard to stop because what’s on the pages is so good.
It’s really easy to, without even realizing it, severely downplay how important reading the Bible is. Nothing should come before our relationship with God. Not school, people, or any other of the “priorities” we may have. The Bible is the foundation of that relationship, it’s the guidebook, the instruction manual, it holds all the answers to every single problem because it is God’s word. What’s funny is the most important thing is what we tend to cast aside the most readily, without concern that we are actually losing something by doing so. Take a minute to think about it. The Bible goes by other titles, such as “Word of God”, “Holy Scriptures”, and the “Word of Life”. Those are powerful names. The Word of God is something that we should never miss out on. If God spoke, wouldn’t we want to hear? Wouldn’t it be important to hear? It’s in the book, and taking time to ingest Words of Life are far more important than any exam, date, or other obligation that we might skip out on reading them for. No midterm or final will bring you life, but the words in the Bible will.
We live in a world where there are negative influences all around us, everywhere we go, all the time. A lot of these temptations we know are wrong, but find appealing anyway. Some we may give into and not even be aware that we are doing wrong. There’s as much grey area out there as black and white. Devoting time to reading the Bible makes an incredible difference when it comes to discernment. Being able to battle temptation successfully makes handling all the other priorities in life so much easier. Last week I heard it summarized perfectly. In his sermon, a pastor noted that when you are tempted, saying “no” is not enough, you have to combat it with scripture if you are going to win, and that’s the truth. We all have vices we are aware of, and it’s easy to look ahead and say, “today I’m not going give into ____ or do ____.” But anybody who is honest with themselves knows that when temptation is staring you down, face to face, you can’t just say no. Maybe if you’re strong willed you can get the best of it once, even twice, but it’s only a matter of time before it pins you down yet again. To beat temptation consistently requires assistance from our Savior, and in addition to prayer and fellowship, he gave us His Word which was made precisely to guide us toward Him and away from evil.
We all have many demands on our time, and many of them are legitimate. But assigning greater importance to those things than to reading the Bible and constantly cultivating a stronger relationship with God should not be something any of us are willing to accept. The Bible is the key to properly balancing our priorities, of which our walk with Christ should be the highest. The world is fraught with all sorts of alluring traps and temptations that can’t be fought by our power alone. Luckily God is on our side, and he’s equipped us with the ultimate tool to fight the temptation and stresses of life. Spiritual warfare is a real thing, something that we’re thrust into the middle of every day. The Bible also goes by another name, the Sword of the Spirit, a weapon to fight with. But to use it we have to know it, and become familiar it. Let’s make sure to keep our Bibles open, and prioritize time every day to load up on what’s inside. You can’t win a war without ammunition.