Stop Reading the IG Bible; Start Really Spending Time Bible Reading

Stop reading the Instagram Bible

So you know what I’m talking about. You are scrolling Instagram, you find a beautiful verse. You pause on the image (maybe you call it “meditating on God’s Word”). You keep scrolling.

There’s no depth, but you convince yourself that you did some devo time (even though you never actually did any Bible reading).

Well, maybe I’m the only one who has ever fallen into this trap. I remember a season where I was so busy and undisciplined. I wasn’t reading God’s Word, and I was just looking for a quick bit of Jesus.

You can imagine how un-impactful this time was. Maybe you saw my Instagram post a little bit ago that talked about what research discovered regarding the amount of time needed in God’s Word to make a difference in our lives. (The irony of my directing you to Instagram just now is not lost on me. Ha!)

Let’s talk about how we grow our relationship with the Lord by spending more time reading His Word.

Taking Shortcuts Does Not Build Effective Bible Reading

Culture seems to always be looking for shortcuts. (I actually saw the picture below on one of my socials. People, socials are not where we go for a deeper understanding of God’s Word!)

Social media post that distorts scripture

How can we save time grocery shopping? Instacart!

How can we teach our kids to read more quickly? Insta-learn! (It’s real…but I know nothing about it, so don’t read this as a recommendation.)

How can we get through our quiet time as quickly as possible? Instagram!

You can see how ridiculous this sounds, and yet, how often do we allow shortcuts to rule our lives? What impact do those shortcuts have?

Instagram is a Distortion of Scripture (It’s not Bible reading.)

When it comes to our time in God’s Word, shortcuts will distort our understanding of God’s Word and impair progress toward a deeper relationship with our Creator.

Think about it. As we scroll through Instagram, what happens? We may see beautiful pictures, but the words are not in context.

Think about how often we see a verse that seems to be so relevant, so applicable to our lives. The next thing we know, we are claiming a verse as a truth for our lives, when God never intended the verse to be used in that way.

The verse that always comes to mind is Jeremiah 29:11. You know this one: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

So many people personalize this verse in a way the Lord did not intend. When you read the entire chapter, you realize that the Lord is not talking to an individual. He is not telling a single person they are going to be healthy and wealthy (which is what many want this scripture to mean). When we read this scripture in context, it is so much richer than the superficial Instagram distortion. (If you want to go a little deeper on this verse, you can read more here.)

But, Instagram doesn’t just distort our understanding, it distorts our entire relationship with the Lord. I don’t have to tell you that strong relationships take hard work.

Quote: "Instagram doesn't just distort our understanding, it distorts our entire relationship with the Lord."

The Instagram “Bible” Doesn’t Require Hard Work

Let me explain what I mean. You are scrolling. You see a color, an image, a word that jumps off the screen. You pause for a second, but you keep scrolling. When you have finished the black hole of scrolling, how much of your time was spent hiding God’s Word in your heart? How much of your time was the hard work of internalizing scripture?

I have hidden your word in my heart,
    that I might not sin against you.

Psalm 119:11, NLT

When we internalize what we are reading, we discover more about our Creator. We discover WHO He is, which is essential to better understanding our relationship with Him.

One of the many reasons that I LOVE Bible journaling includes the hard work that goes with it. Whether I am marking text, taking notes, creating art, or making connections, this hard work allows me to grow my relationship with the Lord. This work is done in partnership with the Holy Spirit. This work grows my love for the Lord and his Word.

Let’s Fall in Love with Bible Reading Again

Ah! The beauty of a new Bible. The joy of connecting with truth. We’ve been there. We’ve felt the Holy Spirit working.

I’m sure you’ve heard the expression “Absence makes the heart grow fonder.” Though we’ve heard that expression, I’m not sure I’ve ever met someone who has experienced that expression to be true.

Why do newlyweds go on a honeymoon together?

Why do families take summer vacations together?

Why did the Lord send us the Holy Spirit?

Obviously, time together makes the heart grow fonder.

The more time I spend in God’s Word, the more I fall in love with Him.

The more time I spend in God’s Word, the more I fall in love with Him.

-Tyra Harnishfeger

Let’s get back to delighting in Bible Reading over social media likes.

I know schedules are busy. We don’t get enough sleep. We work too many hours. We cram in too many activities each day.

But, we also have time to scroll socials. Imagine if we spent that time in God’s Word instead of on a screen. Imagine how our relationship with the Lord might change.

Though developing habits are not easy, they are simple:

  • Choose a time to read and put it on your calendar.
  • Keep your appointment time every day.
  • Don’t give up! Keep reading!

Those pretty pictures of Bible journaling and scripture on social media will still appear on my social media accounts. I’ll still like the posts you make. But, let’s hold one another accountable to make sure that our Bibles are “scrolled” more than our socials. Let’s hold one another accountable to read God’s Word more deeply. Let’s hold one another accountable for spending time growing our relationship with our Jesus! Let’s fall in love with Bible reading!

Developing strong Bible reading habits will keep us from falling into the pitfalls of shortcuts and misinterpretation. We will develop habits that employ hard work and yield greater love for His Word!

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3 responses to “Stop Reading the IG Bible; Start Really Spending Time Bible Reading”

  1. Deb Avatar

    What a powerful post! I have to admit that sometimes I rush through my daily Bible study work just to complete the ‘task’. Such a waste. I know I always feel so much joy when I really focus on God’s word, but I am often lazy. 😢. I sometimes reduce my daily success to the number of things I complete rather than the amount of spiritual growth I work towards or help others to appreciate. Thank you for this reminder. 🙏

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