Break your bad Bible reading habits

Do you struggle with any bad Bible reading habits?

I’m not talking about the bad habit of not actually reading the Bible (a battle every Christian I know has fought at least a few times in the course of their life). Rather, have you ever caught yourself reading the Bible in a misleading or counterproductive way?

Andy Le Peau talks about bad Bible reading habits and suggests that inductive Bible study is a good way to re-train yourself to get the most out of your Bible reading. He points out one example of bad Bible reading, described by Ajith Fernando at Koinonia: the habit of scanning through a large passage and picking out the handful of familiar, inspiring verses—ignoring the rest of the text, which may provide critical context for those inspiring bits.

I’ve certainly seen that bad habit in action, and have fallen victim to it a few times myself. Another bad habit lots of us commit is proof-texting—singling out a verse or two that appears to support an idea we like, without bothering to ask whether the verse, put in the full context of the complete passage, is really saying what we want it to.

What about you? Have you noticed any bad Bible habits taking root in (or even worse, being promoted by) the church today? How did you break out of your own bad reading habits?

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