I have read many books, some I wanted to and some I had to. Some books I read for enjoyment and entertainment, some for knowledge and understanding. Some I read rapidly, some slowly. But the question I want to pose to you is, how do we best read the Bible? We can read it for enjoyment and we should. We can read it for understanding and we should. But I want to propose two ways we can read the Bible, for information or for transformation.
When I read for information, I am more concerned with the quantity of what I read. When I read for transformation, I am concerned about the quality. Information is concerned about what I know. Transformation is concerned about what I do or become. Information may focus for belief, while transformation on behavior, what I do as a result of what I believe, how I respond to my faith. When I read for information, I may be analytical in my approach, may even be judgmental or critical, but when I read for transformation I am humble and accepting of what God is saying to me. When I read information, I am trying to master the text. When I read for transformation I am letting the text master me.
I am not saying we should not read for information. We do need to seek to understand what the scriptures say, but we need to move beyond that. Yes, God’s Word should speak to our head, but also speak to our heart. Remember as Jesus closes the Sermon on the Mount, he talks about a wise man and a foolish man. The foolish man is one who hears, he has gathered information, but that is it. The wise man is the one who hears and puts into practice the words of Jesus. He takes to heart what Jesus says and incorporates into his life. Be Wise! Take God’s Word: learn it and live it.
Dr. Wayne Shaw (R-Grove) has been a member of the Oklahoma Senate since 2014. Prior to that he served as the senior pastor at First Christian Church, Grove, for many years.