Don’t be fooled by the title, I don’t want you to stop reading your bible, praying or meditating on scripture. Indeed, the Christian’s duty is to love God and man (Mt 22:36-40), pursue holiness (1 Peter 1:16), and draw near to the Lord (James 4:8). However, if you make a habit of the practices below, your spiritual life will certainly suffer. If you’re wondering why you’re shorter with people, why the vibrancy in your devotional time is slim or missing, or perhaps why you just don’t “feel” close to the Lord, maybe you’ve already familiarized yourself with these 8-Steps.
Don’t read this incorrectly. This is satire. Sometimes a genre like this invokes a subtle “mockery” of our own short comings. And sometimes our shortcomings need to be mocked, like self-deprecation, in order for us to see our lives more clearly.
“I suppose (though it seems a hard saying) we should mind humiliation less if we were humbler.” -C.S. Lewis
- Prioritize Netflix – The same goes for Hulu, ESPN, HGTV, your Cable package and any variation of cinema intake. If you want to be perplexed on why you can’t get time to read your bible, start with filling your free time with binge watching television
- Argue politics on Facebook – This is easier than loving your neighbor, and it might even give you some superficial affirmation to the reposts and memes that show how dumb the “other party” is. A few hours a day spent doing this will help kill your time before the Lord confessing your sins.
- Stay up too late– Do you have too much energy waking up to get alone with God? No worries! Stay up several hours past a healthy time to get some sleep and any chance of a quiet time in the morning will be sure to die off. Or at the very least, leave you fatigued and reading the same verse multiple times grasping for its meaning.
- Nurture your pet sin – If you are afraid of confessing to God, then don’t. The longer you live in sin, the easier it will be to become consistent with that sin and not want to confess. Living alone in sin is a time proven way to avoid talking to God or reading the bible.
- Outsource your devotionals to Sunday– Why do the heavy lifting of reading the inspired pages of scripture when you tithe your hard-earned money to a pastor who specializes as a professional Christian? Depend on the pastor to do the heavy lifting and the diet of eating once a week and you can possess a confidence that your time with the Lord will slowly and surely dwindle and die.
- Watch the Sermon, instead–Flu season is upon us. Why risk the infection that will come from exposing yourself to other sick people at church when you can see the same sermon at home from the comfort of your living room? The advantages of this also allow you pause to get snack and scroll on your phone without the stigma of anyone shushing you or telling you to put the phone away and pay attention. Sometimes the word is more easily accessible without flesh.
- Scroll before scripture – The first thing you can do upon being roused from your slumber is reach for the endless morning scroll on Facebook and Twitter. That tingle of affirmation in seeing the likes and retweets will be sure to malnourish your time in the Word. Scroll away, dear friend. Scroll away!
- Use your own strength – Don’t be weak and go the Lord when you’ve fallen short. That’s for really, really bad sinners. Rather, white knuckle it. Pull yourself up by your bootstraps and try again.
Remember in all of these, no one likes a hypocrite. If you’ve been away from church, prayer, or reading your bible, now is not the time to start. If you start reading your bible, you will show everyone the inconsistency of being a bad Christian. No one likes the witness of a Christian living as a contradiction. Become consistent at being a distracted and ill-attentive.
Don’t go to church and change. Don’t read your bible and be convicted. Keep telling yourself the lies that you’re good enough to make yourself right with God on your own. Rest assured, these 8 simple steps won’t just hinder your walk with the Lord, they will utterly choke it out. Easy peasy, lemon-squeezy!
As the uneasiness and his reluctance to face it cut him off more and more from all real happiness, and as habit renders the pleasures of vanity and excitement and flippancy at once less pleasant and harder to forgo (for that is what habit fortunately does to a pleasure) you will find that anything or nothing is sufficient to attract his wandering attention
-Screwtape to Wormwood/The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis
Josh Holler is a husband and father living in Duncan, Oklahoma. Josh serves as an Associate Pastor at FBC Duncan. Before graduating from Covenant Seminary with an MDiv in 2019, he served in the United States Marine Corps.