According to a recent study, spending time reading the Bible and meditating on those truths has a powerful effect on positive results in our lives. We know that’s true from past experience. But if experience is our teacher, then why is it so easy to get away from the morning Bible Reading Time, Quiet Time, 7-Minutes with God Time, Devotional Time, or whatever we want to call it Time?
Recently a blog post by the High Quest website, a ministry of The Navigator’s Church Discipleship Ministries, referenced a research study of more than 100,000 people from around the world by the Center for Bible Engagement.
This is a fascinating study about the impact of the Bible on our lives. Statistics don’t usually motivate, but they might give us a personal “boost” in the right direction, since our experience and knowledge tells us these are most likely true stats. Here are some of the findings:
- If people reflect on the Bible 4 or more times a week, their “odds” of giving in to temptations such as drinking to excess, viewing pornography, lashing out in anger, gossiping, and lying, significantly decrease.
- Drinking to excess: – 62%
- Viewing pornography: – 59%
- Having sex outside of marriage: – 59%
- Gambling: – 45%
- Lashing out in anger: – 31%
- Drinking to excess: – 62%
- Receiving, reflecting on, and responding to the Bible 4 or more times a week decreases a person’s odds of struggling with issues like feeling bitter, thinking destructively about self or others, having difficulty forgiving others, and feeling discouraged.
- Feeling bitter: – 40%
- Feeling discourage: – 31%
- Experiencing loneliness: – 30%
- People engaging in the Bible most days of the week strongly predicts a more proactive faith.
- Giving financially to a church: + 416%
- Memorizing Scripture: + 407%
- Sharing their faith with others: + 228%
- Giving financially to causes other than their church: +218%
Do these findings surprise you?
If not, here’s two findings that may. The Researchers found that . . .
- There was no statistical difference between those who read or listened to the Bible 1-3 days a week and those who did not read it at all!
- Attending church made no difference in a man’s behavior.
Rather it was personal involvement and intake of the Bible itself, and that must be at least 4 days a week.
As I said, statistics probably won’t motivate us to spend time in the Bible. But these stats can speak to the relevance of what we are already doing, or know we should be doing.
So the challenge is to apply a little more discipline if we’re “out of step” with these findings and redouble our efforts to spend time to hear, read, study, memorize and meditate on the Bible as His Spirit leads us into understanding and application for our lives!
** (I focus my Thrive Mentor blog post thinking on visualizing and writing these blogs to our Life Impact Staff around the globe. So please join in the reading and interacting with us if this is also helpful to you — iron sharpens iron!)