At church we were having a discussion about the idea of justification by faith alone, and thinking about times when it is implied that this isn't true. Someone mentioned that sometimes they felt that people say that to be saved we have to read the Bible everyday and if we don't then we arn't really a Christian. (This is one way of looking at it, of course someone who is a Christian should spend time in Gods word, and we should still even if we don't feel like it)
In answer to this Paul (one of our elders) said something really cool - I'll try and remember how he said it.
"We often turn good things that God gives us into obligations. If you don't read the Bible for a few days don't think that God is up in heaven angry and condemning us to hell, rather we have missed a wonderful opportunity to grow in our faith. Same with praying, if we don't do it we are actually denying ourselves the privilege of communicating with our God."
It was a way of looking at it that I hadn't thought about before. Before when I miss my quite times I beat myself up by saying things like "What kind of Christian are you? God must really hate me now." and then make myself do double what I normally do to make up for it.
When in fact God doesn't want me to spend time with him because I feel forced to, dragging my feet and hanging my head.
He wants me to love spending time with Him, He wants me to delight in what he is teaching me and to want to talk with Him.
photo courtesy of the bbp