Skimmed Verses, Missed Opportunities
by Ted Cockle
Do you skim quotations when reading? I do.
What’s more, I’ve noticed that I skim even quicker when the quotation is a Bible verse. This is terrible.
Why do our minds skim this valuable material? Here’s what I suspect goes on up there:
- I’m tracking with argument
- I see the quotation
- I debate: Is it long?, Have I seen it before?, Is it clearly a mere reiteration of the argument?
- If yes, skim or skip and move onto the next argument
- If no, read until I see how it fits then skip it and move on to the next point
In my eagerness to move onto the next point of the section or chapter I’ve missed an opportunity to hear from God on the topic (if it’s a Bible reference). Whose words am I valuing more?
Too quickly we dismiss passages with a statement like, “I’ve read that passage of Scripture before, no need to waste the time to read it again.” Waste the time! Yikes. Let’s back up there. This has to be one of Satan’s ploys. His subtle tempters have us rationalizing before we even notice something is there to be rationalized!
Let’s think about it, how many of us fight to read God’s word more? I know I sure do. So what logical sense does it make to forego an opportunity to read Scripture placed right before us?
With this in mind, let us venture together to take every opportunity to read from God’s living and active Word—even/especially when it is placed among the fallible words of men.
“We must be determined to read the imperfect in light of the perfect, the deficient in light of the sufficient, the temporary in light of the eternal, the groveling in light of the transcendent . . . if we fail to prioritize the eternal Word over temporary books, our reading will never be distinctly Christian.”