From time to time a debate emerges about why people don’t read the Bible more. These discussions always raise an array of reasons, which are then explored, discussed, and analyzed. Popular reasons include because people are intimidated by the various ancient texts or because people are simply too busy.
One of the reasons we don’t read the Bible more is because we have become a deeply impatient people. The more impatient we have become as a society, the more our relationships have suffered. At the core of any great relationship is patience, because it takes patience to listen and really get to know the heart of another person.
The Bible helps us know the heart of God, and the heart of man. That takes time. It’s not a self-help book where every line is filled with clichés and step-by-step directives. It is about learning God’s heart and learning our own heart.
But in a deeply subconscious way, when we explore the question why don’t people read the Bible more, I think it comes down to one profound reason: We don’t read the Bible more because we know the Word of God has the power to transform our lives. That’s why we don’t read it.
You see, the uncomfortable, unspoken, and often-avoided truth is that we don’t want our lives transformed. Be honest. Do you want God to completely overhaul your life and totally transform you?
It sounds attractive and in a moment of blissfully holy idealistic exuberance we may say yes, but the reality is we like to distance ourselves from the inner work required to bring about such a transformation.
The long history of God’s relationship with humanity has always displayed God’s preference for collaboration over intervention. God will not snap his fingers and bring about the type of transformation we are talking about here. He desires a dynamic collaboration with each of us. God wants us to do our part.
So, no, we don’t necessarily want our lives transformed. Sure, we want some tweaking, but not transformation. Our desire for tweaking is selective and selfish. Transformation is total and selfless.