I’m not sure when the word Streak became a term to describe how many consecutive days you’ve been on a particular app (in high school, “streaking” meant something completely different), but I’ve become pretty obsessed with my Streak on the Bible App. Even though I don’t always use the Bible app for my quiet times, I log into it daily to look up certain scriptures or to follow along during sermons. It’s a very useful app, and I enjoy logging in daily to keep my Streak growing; but sometimes I forget to log in for a couple of days if I’m reading a spiritual book (these days, I’m reading more than one at a time). This happened to me recently, and I got so annoyed that I missed a day, which resulted in losing my streak of triple digits! “Hmm, that was an interesting reaction,” I thought to myself.
I’ve been listening to a lot of podcasts about Enneagrams lately. Enneagram is a personality typing system, which is based on patterns of the way people perceive their environment and manage their emotions. One of the common topic in these podcasts are the Why’s behind our actions, thoughts and feelings. So with this recent reaction to losing my Bible app streak, I asked myself why it annoyed me and why it was so important to me that I keep up my streak. It didn’t take long for God to reveal my heart behind my annoyance: I was fixated on the quantity instead of the quality. I felt a sense of accomplishment whenever I saw my Streak number go up even if I didn’t remember the scriptures that I read on the app. Ouch! This was very convicting to me!
Having a triple-digit (or more) Streak is not a reflection of an authentic discipleship. My husband never uses a Bible app because he likes to have a physical Bible in his hands, which means even if he had the Bible app on his phone, his Streak number would always be at “1 Day”; but he is honestly one of the most genuine and authentic disciple of Christ that I know. It is very common to see him reading his Bible and a spiritual book. He goes on a couple of prayer walks every day. He’s not someone with tons of “free time” either: He works full-time for a very big corporation, is finishing up his MBA degree, AND we lead a small group in our church. He doesn’t do these things to increase his Streak or to validate his worth; He does it because he loves God and has a genuine relationship with our Father in Heaven. His motivation is not public recognition but rather a recognition of his need for God.
It is important to do heart-checks on a regular basis because our flesh-nature easily loses sight of our authenticity in Christ. According to James 1:23-25, “Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.” This ability to discern and examine ourselves will allow us to grow in our spiritual depth and authenticity in Christ… and in return, our souls will be refreshed.
“My child, don’t lose sight of common sense and discernment. Hang on to them, for they will refresh your soul.”
Let us all strive to live lives of biblical and spiritual authenticity and not allow an app (or anything/anyone) to determine the progress of our journey with Christ. 🙏