Reading the Bible is a joy for Christians because they get to immerse in God’s Word and understand more about Him and His Kingdom. But not everybody feels the same way, and for some it can be hard to get into, not because they don’t have the heart to but because they have physical conditions like dyslexia that make it hard for them.
One such person wrote to Pastor John Piper of Desiring God, saying that his learning disability keeps him from fully appreciating the Bible. “I lose my concentration after a few minutes and then develop serious headaches from reading on past that. At first, I thought I was just lazy, but it is actually a learning disability I’ve had almost my entire life. I want to read the Bible, and read it fully, but I find it incredibly difficult,” the man confessed.
In response, Piper said he understands how disabilities, senility, loss of memory or eyesight can hinder a Christian’s devotion to Bible study. But Piper stressed that Christians should never give up on learning from God, since spiritual growth “is a matter of life and death.”
The good news, according to Piper, is there are several ways to overcome struggles and disabilities. For Christians who cannot read, Piper said they will always have “precious friends in the body of Christ” who can help with their struggles.
“Others will be there for you to read to you, and to perhaps, in that last comatose hour, say glorious words really loud into your seemingly deaf ear,” he said.
Another way to overcome the struggle is to make use of Bible audio books. “You can just shut your eyes and listen, or you can listen in the car, or you can listen while you’re making dinner, or you can listen while you’re going to sleep, or while you’re waking up. I think that’s really important. Go to sleep and wake up to the Bible instead of goodness knows what else people use to go to sleep on,” he suggested.
But for those without disabilities, Piper warned them about other obstacles that can get in the way of hearing the Word of God. These are sin, indifference, love for the world, and spiritual blindness.
Meanwhile, Desiring God executive editor David Mathis also wrote on his blog that this age of technology prompts people to speed everything up, including their Bible study. But personally, Mathis said he does not mind going slow because he gets to appreciate God’s Word more.
“I’m generally a slow reader, not because I couldn’t speed myself up in some measure, but because I want to enjoy reading, and genuinely profit from it. I want to be changed by what I read. I’m not typically looking just to run new data between my ears, but as a rule, I want to feel the emotional significance of each moment, and let it have its full effect,” he said.
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