Cultivating a taste for God’s Word
“How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” Ps 119:103 NIV
The fact that we now enjoy the vegetables we hated as children indicates that as we mature, we can cultivate a taste for healthy, life-giving food. And since the Bible is soul food, you can cultivate a taste for that too. Eugene Peterson writes: “Christians feed on Scripture. Holy Scripture nurtures the holy community as food nurtures the human body. Christians don’t simply learn or study or use Scripture; we assimilate it, take it into our lives in…a way that it gets metabolized into acts of love.” Consumer research indicates the average Bible owner has nine Bibles and is looking for more. What’s wrong with this picture? The unexpressed secret is that many people find the Bible boring. This is quite a recent problem—and a serious one. Ancient Greek, the language of the New Testament, has no word for boredom. The word didn’t acquire its current meaning in English until the last few centuries. When we consider the ancient world—no television, internet, movies, and virtually no books—we’re inclined to think how boring it must have been. But the ancients weren’t bored. We’re the generation that gets bored, because capacity to focus our attention and delight our minds in prolonged thought has been diminished by dependency on external stimuli. We have too many tempting alternatives. That’s why becoming a faithful Bible reader begins as a discipline, continues as a duty, and finally becomes a delight. “How sweet are your words…sweeter than honey to my mouth!” And that can be your experience, too, when it comes to reading God’s Word. You just need to get serious about it.