Beware of Bad Devotionals

Just a quick thought…

Beware of devotional books. That’s right. I said it. You need to be really careful about reading “devotional books.”

Some are good. Some are bad. None are Scripture.

Here are some random thoughts on what makes a devotional book bad:

  • It claims to speak FOR God. I’m leery of anything written as if from God’s perspective.
  • It always makes you feel warm and fuzzy and never brings conviction for sin.
  • It tells lots of stories, but talks very little about the Bible.
  • It promotes morality more than the gospel.
  • It pulls verses from the Bible out of context for the convenience of particular words or phrases.
  • It reduces sound theology or Christ-exalting truth to life principles.

Here are some random thoughts on what makes a devotional book good:

  • It works as a tool to help you understand the Bible rather than using the Bible to promote its own message.
  • It proclaims the gospel before life principles.
  • It helps Christian to be “sorrowful, yet always rejoicing.”
  • It stirs up confidence in Christ, not self.

The best devotional reading is just reading the Bible. If you need help understanding the Bible, get a good study Bible. We all need help at times. That’s why God gives some people the gift of teaching! And even teachers need teachers. But we need to be careful not to let devotional books replace God’s Word as the main course for our spiritual nourishment.

Carry on.

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