The Struggle of Consistent Bible Reading

The Struggle of Consistent Bible Reading June 27, 2023

A pink and tan copy of the Holy Bible King James Version
Photo by Author

I’m going to say something that might make some gasp in horror and, hopefully, others sigh in relief that they are not alone. 


I struggle to read my Bible consistently. 


There, I said it. But wait, there’s more that might get mixed reactions. 


My day has no greater peace than when I read my Bible. 


You too? 


So if we know it brings us peace, we know it’s good for us in our faith walks … why can it be so hard? 


The biggest Bible reading consistency struggles fit into two main categories. 

  1. Not enough time / busy / distracted with other top-tier tasks (kids do need food once in a while I’m told)
  2. I’m afraid I won’t like what I read / it’s boring / I don’t understand it / not relevant today


Now for tough love (and I am 100% talking to myself with each point too). 


Let’s look at that first excuse. Yes, I’m sorry to say, but they are all excuses. 


We make time for what we value.


When we find that we do not have enough time, are too busy, or are distracted, it’s seldom literally that we do not have enough hours. 


How many Netflix shows can you net a week? (Sorry couldn’t resist the pun.) How long did you look at your phone today? And it’s not just the “guilty” pleasures to really look at. Did you go to the gym today, take a walk, or take a trip to the grocery? 


None of these are truly bad things, but they point a, sometimes painful, spotlight on our hearts. 


Has something taken over priority or have your task monkeys {{link to the description right below it}} run amok all over your to-do list? 


(At my old company we used to have little stuffed monkeys with velcro paws that could hang from door knobs. Each person had one. They were to be used if you needed to ask for a big favor / extra assistance from another person’s team. You had to take your monkey over to their desk and they held on to it until finished with your request. If someone had 3 or more task monkeys it was very clear that they had too much on their plate from other people. I loved mine, still have him, and he reminds me not to let them go ape (forgive my failed comic streak again, I know monkeys and apes are not one and the same) with my pre-planned days.)


If this is you, the solution is relatively simple. Reduce tasks, eliminate unneeded activities, maybe cut back on Netflix if it’s grown from one episode of something to 3 or 4 hour binges. It might require a family discussion if you’re doing the lion’s share of chores for example, but it should be easy to carve out 12 minutes a day, I’ll come back to that specific number in a moment.


What if there is nothing you can reduce or eliminate? What if you’re working, going to school, and parenting or some other extremely taxing, but needed combination? Here I suggest getting creative by using the in-between-time time. What is that? 


In-between-time Time is what I like to call all those “lost” minutes. Some are longer periods, like while driving and some are shorter, brewing tea or microwaving lunch. 


Since the Bible is no longer restricted to a rather heavy paper-bound book, this one also becomes relatively simple, but with a slight catch. We must guard against distraction. 

If you use your phone to read your Bible – 

I highly recommend turning on the Airplane Mode before opening. This prevents any notifications from popping up while you’re reading that could tempt your index finger. 


If you use audio – 

I highly recommend you repeat the scriptures (or explain the context) you “read” either to yourself, or later to a spouse, or even write it down when the chance presents itself. This prevents the highly scientific “in-one-ear-out-the-other” syndrome from coming into play. 


This one is the toughest for me. I can ignore pings on the phone, but if I’m washing dishes and listening, suddenly I’ll look up and realize I haven’t heard the last three or four sentences … I find by making it a habit to tell my husband later what I covered, it really helps my brain understand the assignment and stay focused. 


Now what was that about 12 minutes a day? 


The general consensus is that it takes somewhere around 70-75 hours per year to read through the entire Bible. Which breaks down to – wait for it (because it blew my mind too) – only 12 minutes a day! Definitely a manageable number! (Crossway


I hope this gave you some ideas or just the encouragement to start again. What book are you going to dig into this week? 


Join me again next week where I’ll delve into category number two! 

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