The link between dying to our selfishness and practicing a Bible reading plan

When it comes to reading the Bible, some of us like to be "in the moment," picking whatever passages strike us that day. Others want the sense of order that comes from sticking to a prescribed reading plan. I bet few of us put as much thought into why it matters as the monastic fathers and mothers.

As I have posted before, I am slowly reading through an account of monastic life written by one of the ancient world's greatest authorities, John Cassian. Yesterday I was fascinated by the reasoning behind the monks' practice of praying a prescribed list of Psalms every night. This will sound radical to our fiercely independent ears, but we need to hear it.
No monk is fit for the spiritual life "before he has... learnt the fact that he is not his own maker and has no authority over his own actions." (Institutes, book II, ch III)
Submitting to the communal prayers and Scripture readings is important because the monk needs to internalize a fundamental, scriptural truth: I am not my own.

In our culture, "I am not my own" is outright heresy.

A prescribed reading plan can be like a daily training regimen to drive this point home.

What actions are you taking in your life to reinforce the countercultural truth, "I am not my own"? Do you practice or need to practice a prescribed Scripture reading plan like the monastic fathers and mothers? 

There are dozens of options of reading plans at YouVersion and Bible Gateway.


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