Too Many Devotionals, Too Little Time?


Christian devotionals are easier than ever to find these days thanks to the internet. But that ease of finding them comes with a price: a cluttered inbox filled with too many devotionals.

A dear friend of mine has a thing about email inboxes. She likes them cleaned all the way down to practically zero, with things you need to keep filed away in folders out of sight of the primary inbox and things you don’t need to keep actually, you know, deleted.

Perish the thought.

Over at Stuff Christians Like, a recent guest post called “The Unsubscribe of Shame,” that talks about the need to remove one’s name and email address from a daily devotional email list.

“I’ve let so many unread daily devotionals rack up in my email, you’d think I’d been raptured. These [devotionals] have been in the form of blog posts & just plain website databases who thought I could handle three or eight different [devotionals] a day.”

It happens. For me, it happens on a wide range of topics.

And I feel guilty unsubscribing to each one of them, even when I find a service like Feedly, suggested by my friend, Ted, that I can use to catch the same posts.

When you unsubscribe, you rarely get the chance to explain that you’re “subscribing”&nbsp on a service like Feedly or otherwise soften the blow.

We assume it’s a blow. It may be, depending on how big of an email list a blogger or writer has, that he won’t even notice you’ve gone.

But when it comes to a Christian devotional email subscription, some of us have this silly notion that we’re unsubscribing from God Himself.

Yes, a smack upside the head may well be in order.

It’s easy to overload on nearly anything, whether it’s news about the industry in which you work, views from people who share your political agenda or even the latest on your favorite sports team.

Why should religion be any different?

I think it happens when we set out with the best of intentions. Yes, we need to spend time with God if we’re going to make an attempt to walk with Him.

But I suspect that even devotionals might fall into the list of things that should be done in moderation. After all, we learn more when we spend time thinking about what we’ve read or heard. If all we’re doing is taking information in without bothering to process it, how are we actually benefitting from it in a personal way? If we’re lucky, we’ll be able to recite it all back to someone. But if we’re not spending the time to understand it and relate it to where we are in life, I don’t think we’d be getting from it what we’d all hope.

Too many devotionals? No problem. Narrow it down. Find a favorite and spend more time reflecting on why it does or doesn’t make sense for you. Take away the pressure and focus on the message.

the authorPatrick
Patrick is a Christian with more than 30 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.

1 Comment

  • I’ve always thought of devotionals as sort of a runway. They help you get up to speed and get your mind focused on God. The goal of a devotional should be to lead to a time of meditation and prayer that can’t be scripted.

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