There are some really bad ways to read the Bible. Perhaps the most dangerous is reading the Bible to merely gain knowledge without seeking to know the God of the Bible. This kind of person wants to read the Bible, but doesn’t want the Bible to read him.
Martin Luther said,
The Bible is alive, it speaks to me; it has feet, it runs after me; it has hands, it lays hold of me.
Soren Kierkegaard, in a sermon from James 1, discussed this. Using the illustration of God’s Word being a mirror, he made a distinction between simply looking at the mirror and using the mirror to look at yourself. Simply looking at the mirror is a terrible way to read God’s Word. You can admire it and note how shiny or clear it is, but as long as you don’t use the mirror to look at yourself, you haven’t used it for its intended purpose.
What will be the result of people who read the Bible but don’t allow it to read them? What will people be like if they simply look at the mirror instead of using the mirror of God’s Word to look at themselves? Pharisaical, self-righteous people who are convinced they are right with God and see no need for Christ. Jesus calls them “white-washed tombs”–people who look good on the outside but are dead on the inside.
Don’t just read the Bible. Let the Bible read you.