Friday, 29 January 2016

Reading the Bible - slowly

Madame Guyon was a French mystic from the late 17th and early 18th century known for her writings on the spiritual life. She once wrote:

"If you read quickly, it will benefit you little. You will be like a bee that merely skims the surface of a flower. Instead, in this new way of reading with prayer, you must become as the bee who penetrates into the depths of the flower. You plunge deeply within to remove its deepest nectar."

Dallas Willard writes:
"You may have been told that it is good to read the Bible through every year and that you can ensure this be reading so many verses per day from the Old and New Testaments. If you do this you may enjoy the reputation of one who reads the Bible through each tear and you may congratulate yourself on your accomplishment. But will you thereby be one more like Christ and more filled with the life of God?

It is a proven fact that many who read the Bible in this way, like taking medicine or exercising on a schedule, do not advance spiritually. Better in one year to have ten good verses transferred into the substance of our lives than yo have every word of the Bible flash before our eyes. Remember as always that "the letter killers, but the spirit givers life" (2 Corinthians 3:6). We read to open ourselves to the Spirit."
In Search of Guidance page 174

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