When it comes to reading God’s Word, do you prefer to the feel the pages in its bound casing or the convenience of scrolling digitally on your phone?
There’s no right or wrong answer to this. Everyone has their own unique way of getting their spiritual manna from heaven.
I do enjoy BOTH the physical and digital methods of nourishing my spirit. However, more and more, I’m starting to favor one more than the other. It’s partly by choice, but more out of necessity.
Here’s how the two compare for me:
There’s something awe-inspiring about physically touching and seeing God’s Word. I love that I can highlight texts which I find very usual for scripture memorization. Turning the pages and see God’s Word in the text causes to slow down and savor God’s Word. I feel more grounded and connected with a physical Bible.
The Bible app gives me the convenience of looking up scripture on the go. The reading plans offer so much spiritual wisdom while learning more about God, Jesus, and the Christian life. I also enjoy sharing my scripture notes with others and discussing them; which makes the app a social media site.
But, here’s the problem I’m having when reading the Bible app on my phone.
While I see it as a fantastic way to connect and get into God’s Word, I’m discovering that I often get distracted. All it takes is for one text message, social media, or email notification while reading my app plan and my heart naturally leans towards clicking to respond.
To some this may not seem like a big deal and maybe I need to exercise much better self control. I know I do. But it actually poses a BIG problem and it one that I wasn’t even aware of.
My personal intimacy with God during my time with Him is sometimes hindered by other influences when I’m on my phone even while reading the Bible app.
Again, make no mistake. This is not to say that the Bible app or any other faith based apps itself is bad. It’s a blessing. However, I know that I’m prone to not wanting to log off my social media or emails also for the sake of always wanting be available or connected.
Additionally, I find myself rushing through reading God’s Word on the app just so I check the box of me saying I read it, but also quickly get to the notifications because it’s conveniently there. Not to mention, it could be important or urgent.
Bible App Boundaries
At Bible study, I was challenged about my relationship with God and how to deepen my intimacy with Him. My leader gave a fantastic analogy when it comes to seeking a deeper relationship with Him.
In marriage, two people (a man and a women) are needed to engage in physical intimacy. Anyone else who comes into the picture makes it threesome. This means the the focus is now divided and someone is going to feel left out.
My leader then tells us our group to ask ourselves,
“How many times have we engaged or try to engage in spiritual intimacy with God and allowed other outside influences no matter how well-meaning to come in our intimate space causing our hearts to become divided?”
I knew that if was going to personally deepen my intimacy and relationship with God, I would need to put down the digital Word of God a lot more during my morning devotionals and pick up the physical one. This was to ensure NO distractions in and give 100% attention on God.
The Bible app is currently still on my phone. I also have another faith based app on my phone too. I’m just learning to place my personal boundaries on how I use it and ask God for wisdom on how to.
I spend no more than 4-5 minutes on it just to read the scripture of the day and write the scripture in my journal to meditate on it. For the most, instead of using my Bible app to look up scriptures out of convenience when reading my devotionals, I use my physical Bible instead.
Putting these boundaries in place has made a significant difference in my intimacy with God. I’m much less distracted and I’m focused on hearing God’s voice more clearly. I’m also learning how to navigate God’s Word a lot quicker instead of having an app to find the scriptures by chapter and verse for me.
Some may not agree with this choice of how I get I get my daily bread and that’s okay. I know that I want to personally maximize my quality time with Christ by any means necessary just to have a closer relationship with Him. If that includes placing boundaries on phones and apps, I will.