What’s your best guess of the percentage of American adults who meet the daily federal fruit or vegetable recommendations?
Fifty percent? Twenty-five percent?
We don’t need a lot of extra research to see how troubling this number is, and what it means for our society and livelihood.
But it’s not only the bananas and the broccoli we are leaving out of our daily diet. We are also missing out on the milk and the meat found in God’s Word.
DAILY DIET PROBLEMS
A 2018 Barna study conducted found that only fourteen percent of surveyed adults read the Bible daily, and only a quarter use it more than once a week. Another study conducted in 2019 concluded that only five percent of those interviewed would call themselves “Bible-centered,” meaning they have frequent interaction with Scripture that leads to spiritual formation). That’s a steep drop from an already low nine percent in 2018.
When we survey our cultural landscape, we can see sobering comparisons between our physical spiritual well-being. But the prevailing point is that we’re physically overweight, spiritually scrawny, and malnourished through and through.
We are certainly not where we are because of a lack of resources. Troves of daily Bible reading plans sit at our disposal. Numerous apps encourage frequency and consistency in the Word. We counsel people to find what works for them and to get it done.
However, it seems that little is changing. If anything, our daily diet is getting worse. Day to day, the nourishing feast of the Word goes untried, even within the corporate body of Christ.
There is much we can make of these statistics. What I make of them are the words Annie Dillard haunted us with: “How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.” A daily neglect, gradually over time, grows into a life of neglect.