For Christians struggling with their faith, other Christians often try to offer the best advice they can, but how do you feel about Christians who keep telling those who are struggling to just “read their Bible?” In my “struggling” years when I was becoming serious with my relationship with Christ, I have often come across that advice countless times, and every time, I have always felt that there was a problem with that advice. Not that it was “wrong” but it almost never felt “right.”
Dear friend: any time someone tells you, “Just read your Bible,” they’re saying it because —
1) They’re not really sure what else to say, or
2) They’re not willing to invest their time to hear you out.
To be fair, I can completely understand when someone falls back on easy advice: because giving advice is hard and it sounds right to throw the Bible at something. It’s a one-size-fits-all trump-card that sounds very spiritual.
But for the most part, this is such a cold, distant, snobby, self-absorbed way to say, “I don’t really care about your problem, so you figure it out for yourself.”
See: I believe the Bible tells us that we’re designed to work through our issues together, both personally and intellectually. (Isaiah 1:18, 1 Thessalonians 5:14, 5:21, 1 Peter 3:15, Acts 17:11-12, 1 John 4:1). So the Bible more than anything opens the way to thoughtful nuanced conversation that covers the entire human spectrum of intellect and emotion.
Instead, many of us use the Bible as a protective shield to say, “The answer is probably in there somewhere” — because people are not willing to get messy and dig deep into the issues that plague us.