In last week’s article, Shopping & Bible Reading … (Part 1), we concluded that it is neither right nor wrong to shop or read the Bible online. Instead, it is based on our preference and our current circumstance. Today, we’ll look at the positive aspects of each option.
Advantages of …
Shopping Online: It’s convenient. You can shop anytime, through any weather, without having to worry about closing time, long lines, or parking space. It saves time and diesel or gas. It often offers better prices since you can easily browse through dozens of websites to compare and get the lowest price—doing this would take forever in a store. It offers discreet shopping. Frankly, some items purchased need privacy. Then there are the endless choices. If you don’t see what you want on one site, just move to the next. The possibilities are endless. Online shopping also offers no hassle sales, so you can avoid eager sales associates trying to make a commission by selling you something you don’t need.
Reading Online: Some Bibles are just too heavy to be portable, but the internet is mobile. It makes searching twice as easy; a chapter or verse can be located within seconds. You can cross-reference three or four translations or versions in a flash, as well as utilize additional study tools such as the concordance, all from one device.
Shopping In-store: You can try clothes on, and for some items, see how they’re made. Plus, you’ll get to test and feel the product. There’s instant customer service. If you have a question or query, a store rep is nearby to handle your concerns—an option not readily available for online shopping with a 24 hour response time frame. It offers the security of paying with cash. What you give, is what they get, and you worry less about scams—unless you choose the credit card option. Also, you don’t have to pay for shipping or wait forever to receive the product. You get the pleasure of enjoying what you buy the same day.
Reading Manually: Even though you can highlight and make notes in the Bible online, a physical Bible seems more personal and engaging. We tend to spend more meaningful time in the physical Bible than reading from tiny or bright screens. You don’t have to worry about technical glitches such a low battery or slow internet. You avoid the distractions that come with the device. It identifies us as Christians and may present an opportunity for witnessing. Finally, there’s something comforting to the reader and honoring to God when the interaction process is done physically.
The bottom line: these are tasks that need to be completed. How we do them shouldn’t matter, let’s just get them done. “Arise, for it is your task, and we are with you; be strong and do it.” (Ezra 10:4)
How do you prefer to shop and read the Bible?