Don’t just depend on devotionals
“A thorough knowledge of the bible is worth more than a college education.” - Theodore Roosevelt
A mistake I made early on in my Christian walk was always turning to devotionals for my personal time with the Lord.
Specifically, I had an FCA bible that had a devotion for each day in the back. I’d read the paragraph or two and check the “I did my quiet time today” box.
Now, in the event that the alternative to not doing a devotional was no quiet time at all then the devo was a good idea. But, that shouldn’t be the case for me or anyone anyways.
Devotionals are great supplements, but they should never replace daily bible readings.
Not just skimming “Jesus Calling” and calling it day, but actually opening up the Bible and reading straight from the scripture.
Leaving behind legitimate bible readings and depending solely on devotionals can wreck our Christian walk.
Hear me right: I’m not saying get rid of all your awesome devos and bible studies. But what I am saying is that those things need to be done in addition to the actual reading of scripture.
With that being said, here’s a couple reasons why doing nothing but devotionals can gouge your spiritual growth:
1. Devotionals provide a person’s perspective, not God’s. No matter how great or sharp the author or creator of the content is, they are still a human. A human capable of mistakes and misinterpretations. This can cause us to be slowly mislead in our belief systems, especially if we don’t already have a good grasp of what the Bible says on certain issues we do our devos on.
2. Devotionals keep us from having to figure out how to properly interpret the Bible. Let’s face it, devotionals are easier and more entertaining reads than the Bible. They often include illustrations and analogies that hit right at home. Which turns into them being a more popular literature for the average person.
This results in more people reading those rather than laboring over a passage of scripture that is either complex, boring or both. This might be fine and convenient for awhile, but over time it creates a generation of people who have no idea what the Bible says outside of what the people they read say about it. This is obviously a significant issue.
As a person who pastors students, it can very concerning to hear the common misconceptions they hear about God and his plan for their lives from devos, studies or videos that were straight up incorrect in their interpretation.
We have to get back to traditional bible readings.
It doesn’t even have to be a set plan. Just choose a book of the Bible and read. If you don’t understand something, make a note and ask a pastor or spiritual mentor to help you interpret it and explain to you why it means that. Don’t just let them give you the answer. Such as with most things in life, with repetition comes proficiency. Reading the Bible is no different.
Pro - Tip: try grabbing an accountability partner to read a chapter a day with. That has always helped me.
Let’s get back to the Bible.