The Struggle of Consistent Bible Reading – Part 2

The Struggle of Consistent Bible Reading – Part 2 July 4, 2023

A Bible laying open for reading.
Image by Pexels from Pixabay

Last week we talked about time as a struggle for consistent Bible reading. This week it’s all about what I call internal resistance. 


We label it many different things. 

  • I’m afraid of what it’ll say. 
  • It’s boring.
  • I don’t understand it. 
  • It’s not relevant today. 


The long and short of it really is, I don’t want to do it. It’s the age-old battle between flesh and spirit. Paul, one of the most well-traveled, prolific of the apostles knew this war very well. Let’s take comfort in the fact that we are not alone. 


For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. (Romans 7:19 NIV)


We must resist the temptation to give in to the “flesh” or “sin nature” as Paul refers to it and we’ve been given weapons to help. Here are just a few of the arrows in our quiver we can string and fire at the resistance based on the argument that is the loudest for you. 


Tough Love Time


  1. I’m afraid of what it’ll say. 

This tends to crop up when you know you’ve sinned and haven’t sought forgiveness through repentance. You are resisting sitting down with God (in His Word) because you are embarrassed to reveal the sin … or perhaps hesitant to give it up. Both can be dangerous stumbling blocks to growth. The first reveals a lack of trust and the second willful rebellion. I will not dwell on either here, except to encourage you to pray. Remember that as a child of God, you will be rebuked and disciplined as any child of a loving parent – to protect you from even greater mistakes down the road. So lean in. Trust God and face the scriptures with an open, humble heart.


No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. (Hebrews 12:11 NIV)


  1. It’s boring.

I think it’s fair to honestly say that not all scriptures are exciting, edge-of-your-seat stories. I’ll admit, for someone who was vegan for many years, I have a very hard time with the sections on animal sacrifice (THANK YOU JESUS we no longer need that!) … I’ll also admit I’ve fallen asleep trying to read about cubits and building materials. While my sections might be different from yours, I know we all have pages that still look brand new – no marks or creases, unlike others that are tattered and highlighted to within an inch of their life. For this one, I’ll challenge you to face it head-on. Pick a book you seldom read, make sure you are rested, hydrated, and fed, then sit down and get comfortable. Read. If you are really unable to engage with your chosen section, ask your preacher for help, look on YouTube at a trusted teacher, or discuss with your prayer circle for insight from other points of view. Remember, God breathed these words, just as he did all the others. Ask the questions – Who, What, When, Why, Where, How to really go deep. 


All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17 NIV)


  1. I don’t understand it. 

It is true, that the material gathered in the Bible can be some of the most challenging texts we read in day-to-day life. It can be a struggle to understand it, in context, and then further to understand any applications to be had from it. For this, much of the advice on number two will be helpful. Seek out secondary sources – commentaries, Bible dictionaries, and proven teachers. I personally highly recommend you have at least three different Bible translations in your home (or downloaded on your favorite Bible app). I use NKJV, NLT, AMP, and NIV for reading predominantly. If I want to spend some time just in the beauty of words, I might sit down with a KJV. If I want to break something down to street speak, I’ll even open a copy of The Message. Often putting translations side by side will provide the clarity you need – but don’t forget the most critical step for sitting down to study first – Pray. Pray for understanding and clarity before you even begin to read. Here is a wonderful scripture to pray before you get started!


Give me understanding, so that I may keep your law
    and obey it with all my heart. (Psalm 119:34 NIV)


  1. It’s not relevant for today.

It can be hard when just beginning your walk with Jesus, to understand how a book written thousands of years ago could have anything applicable to us. For this, I offer only one piece of encouragement – read it. God does not change, therefore His words do not. The promises and love He showed then are the same promises and love today. Let that soak in. Draw a big heart around it! While dress, occupations, language, and other facets of life shift decade from decade, sometimes even week to week, human nature does not, and commensurately God’s gifts of grace and mercy do not.  


For the word of God is alive and active. (Hebrews 4:12a NIV)


I’m sure there are countless other variations of resistance that attempt to destroy our Bible reading consistency, but I hope this encourages you to shake the dust off your Bible or dig it out of its spot holding up the bookshelf, pray for understanding, and read. It is no small treasure that the Creator of the universe felt we were worth leaving a tangible sign of His love for. 


Happy Reading!

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