As Christians – imperfect people saved by a perfect God – I think we all go through phases where we struggle to spend adequate time with the Lord. There are many excuses for this downfall in a believer’s life, ranging from “I can’t find the time,” to a heart-problem of “I don’t need the Lord’s help,” to a simple, “I try to read the Bible and pray, but everything seems so dry!” Whatever the reason, I’m sure you’ve experienced some sort of spiritual apathy in your life at one point or another.
Stalls in spiritual zeal may be common, but they aren’t excusable. One of the big traps I think spiritual dryness invites is the whole idea of - what I call - compensation. This is when we choose to adapt an easy alternative, labeling it as “OK,” instead of pursuing a better, more fulfilling walk with God that requires self-discipline and sacrifice.
Confession time: in my own life, one “easy alternative” I adapted was thinking that the biblical quotes and Bible verses that I saw while scrolling through Pinterest compensated for daily, disciplined Bible reading. Sounds like a really dumb idea? Yeah, it was. But it was honestly a lie that I bought into for a long time. Although I would have never said it aloud, my mentality really was, “Oh, I’m seeing all these great convicting quotes on Pinterest, and there’s lots of Bible verses that pop up in my stream. That takes care of Bible reading for today!” Ladies, that’s a BIG no-no right there!
Here are a couple things we might consider “OK” in place of a daily time with the Lord:
Pinterest Bible verses and quotes.
Devotionals in our inbox.
Godly blog posts.
Listening to Scripture readings.
A Bible app that sends us a verse each day.
Those are just a few examples. There are many others. You fill in the blank! But the truth is, none of these things can EVER compensate for spending adequate time with the Lord, in prayer and in His Word.
Let me say that again in case it’s not in your head yet.
There is no compensation for spending adequate time with the Lord. Nothing compensates.
(*high-fives to you if you got the joke/quote.*)
There is simply no compensation. Spending time with the Lord is a discipline. It’s a privilege, but it’s not always easy. It takes effort, discipline, and sacrifice to set aside uninterrupted time for the Lord.
Now, don’t get me wrong; Pinterest Bible verses, email devotions, blog posts and the like are all GOOD things. They aren’t bad or wrong. They are there to aid us in our spiritual walk! But they just don’t compensate for the real deal. You’ll never get true nourishment from just snacking, even if your snacks aren’t that bad. You need actual meals.
So I say, sign up for those email devotionals! Read a spiritual blog post each day/week (I try to follow enough blogs that will give me one spiritual post each day). Subscribe to verses-of-the-day. Pin spiritual quotes and verses on Pinterest. Just don’t let it compensate for your time with the Lord.
I’d love to hear from you!
Have you ever bought into the whole idea of compensation in your walk with the Lord?
What in your life have you viewed as an OK alternative to spending adequate time with God?
How have you sought to “soften” your guilt when you don’t read God’s Word? (Hint: your answer to this will probably be your answer for the above question as well.)
If I totally confused you, I apologize. Let me know and I will try to explain better. ;)