You probably own a Bible. If you're like me, you own several Bibles in a multitude of translations. There's an entire shelf in my office lined with them and a matching shelf at home. I have a Bible in almost every room of my apartment so I can easily get to one if I need it. When I read, I underline and make notes in the margins (and thus most of my Bibles becomes annotated study Bibles). When I'm preparing a sermon or otherwise doing a bit of research, I flip back and forth rapidly between passages -- to the point of tearing some of my Bibles apart.
That convicted me this week. In the midst of hunting up verses about the afterlife, I inadvertently pulled an entire sheaf of pages loose from the binding; that's how roughly I was treating it. In that moment, I realized my Bible had become just another reference text, a tool to be used. Any practitioner of any other religion would have been appalled at the way I was treating my own sacred copy of my God's holy text.
Do we truly view our Bibles that way? Do we see them for what they are: a holy book, inspired by God, and His words to us to lead us to Him? Is it something sacred and precious to us? Or is it just another book we occasionally misplace, read only out of a sense of duty, and treat like a reference text as a means to an end? Do we handle it with reverence and respect, or do we carelessly tear out its pages?
As you're tempted to leave your Bible at church, toss it haphazardly onto the nightstand, or ignore it completely, realize you hold in your hand the divine word of God, His holy message to us. Treat it with respect -- and take its message to heart.