According to Kierkegaard ... “To read the Bible as God’s word, one must read it with his heart in his mouth, on tip-toe, with eager expectancy, in conversation with God. To read the Bible thoughtlessly or carelessly or academically or professionally is not to read the Bible as God’s Word. As one reads it as a love letter is read, then one reads it as the Word of God.”
Quoted by: Utley, Robert James Dr. You Can Understand the Bible!.
Marshall, Texas: Bible Lessons International, 1996.
I have been guilty of reading the Bible as an "academic." I've read the Bible as a "professional" and I'm afraid that at times I have missed the love letter that was intended for me. I love to dive into the academics of a text. I love to redact it and partake in its textual and grammatical criticism, but Kierkegaard has reminded me of the simple and overarching message of the Bible: A message of love.
Unfortunately, many Christians approach their Bible reading with baggage, and I am guilty of doing this, too. We read with a bias; we read with a denominational slant; we read with a presupposition; we read without any regard to context. And when we only do any one of these, we read it thoughtlessly or carelessly. Certainly this is most unfortunate!
Now, there's nothing wrong with the academic side of Bible reading. I still love this type of reading. But my soul also needs my "heart to be in my mouth ... with eager expectancy" so that while I am doing a word study, I am also listening for that gentle Gospel message of love.
With the help of the Holy Spirit, God desires to give you and me His message of love that has the power to cut through any baggage or bias that we may have. Listen for that message the next time you read His word.