Not too long ago, I wrote this post about the top two ways I use audio Bibles. While I am a big proponent of audio Bibles there are definitely some times when you’ll want to refrain from turning on your audio Bible.
Here’s my short list:
Don’t use an audio Bible for your first few readings of a book.
The goal of reading the Bible is to have a conversation with the Author. The first few times you read through a book of the Bible you want the primary voice you hear to be God’s.
Every reader – including yours truly – makes decisions about what emotion or emphasis to put on a word or phrase. These decisions impact the way you hear it. You don’t want the narrator’s choices to get in the way of God showing you what He wants you to see, hear, or notice first.
As my mama used to say, Taste your food before you put salt and pepper on it. Salt and pepper are just extra seasoning…not the main flavor.
Good word mama. The same is true for audio Bibles. They are seasoning…not the main flavor.
Don’t use an audio Bible exclusively.
This really dovetails with the first one (and what I talked about in my other post on how TO use audio Bibles). Obviously, if you have sight issues or get headaches when you read, then this doesn’t apply to you. For the rest of us, an audio Bible can actually get in the way of our hearing God’s voice.
As I mentioned above, the narrator has made choices about emotion and emphasis. If you exclusively listen to an audio Bible then you will start to believe the way they read it is the only way to read it! (This is bad. Really bad.)
It is no different from only reading your favorite author, only listening to your favorite preacher, or only getting tips from your favorite blogger. You get pigeon-holed in your view of a certain verse, section, or book. And you stop going to the Holy Spirit for insight. (And rumor has it, He knows the Book quite a bit better than your favorite author, preacher, blogger, or narrator.)
Note for folks with sight challenges: In your case, I would encourage you to listen to a variety of audio Bibles. God will use the different voices and emphases to help you hear different things and gain different insights as you listen.
Don’t use an audio Bible as a copout.
There, I said it. Oh yeah…and I’m guilty of it.
Have you done this?: You don’t have make time to read your Bible so you just turn on your audio Bible the next time you’re in your car. I certainly have.
Please don’t do this.
Every now and then – fine. We all have days that are jam-packed, or simply “get away from us.” But it is so easy to let this become a habit.
I am not talking about using an audio Bible – even every day – as a supplement to what you read, study, and pray through at another time in your day. I am simply sending up a warning flare about the subtle pull to allow the audio Bible to replace your time reading, studying, and praying simply because it’s easier.
The temptation with anything new – especially if you find it helpful – is to overdo it. This is no different with using an audio Bible. It IS helpful. It IS useful. But the temptation is to start with it, use it every time, and do it because it’s easier.
However, if you really want to fall in love with God’s Word, then remember what my mama says about salt and pepper…