In July 2010, the results of a Pew Survey of over 1,000 Christian households found an interesting result. The survey found those who consistently read their Bible every day have lower mortgage payments, car payments, or unpaid credit cards. The less people read their Bible the more likely they were to have more debts among survey participants.  The survey also found that daily Bible readers are more than twice as likely to give 10% or more of their income to God’s work through their church and other ministries.

There can be many interpretations of this kind of odd fact. But several come to my mind.  Making the commitment to daily bible reading is a discipline. People do it even on days they don’t feel like it, would rather do something else, or are bored with the passage. It becomes a regular feature of the day no matter what else is happening.  That kind of discipline would also translate into other areas of their lives. Their approach to their financial life is probably more disciplined and far less frivolous or unthinking.

A second reason is that being immersed in the scriptures means that they

are being exposed to and formed by God’s values. They may be less likely to have the need to have the biggest, the best and the latest. They may have a greater sense of gratitude and contentment with what they have and a desire to share what they have with others.

Finally their Christian Formation has given them a better sense of being part of something important. Of being part of real solution for the ills of the world – changing heats and changing lives one at a time.

Developing spiritual disciplines of prayer reading scripture or other practices can have value far beyond the religious or spiritual areas of life we think about when we consider them. These may help give us a better balance to all of the hype which bombards us from advertising and other consumer oriented communications.


About don

The Rev Don Hill is an Episcopal priest, rail fan and writer. He and his wife the Rev. Dr. Nancy Woodworth-Hill are currently Co-Pastors of St Paul's Episcopal Church, Jeffersonville IN, in the Diocese of Indianapolis. They also work as parish consultants in Appreciative Inquiry, strategic planning and spirituality development for parishes and vestries.
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