Why I don’t read my Bible

“At the root the reason we don’t read the Bible is because we don’t want to read the Bible.”

If I am honest, this has been true in my life many times. When I reflect on when I haven’t read the Bible regularly it’s simply because I haven’t prioritized it. Why haven’t I prioritized it? Because I don’t want to. I haven’t felt the need strong enough. It’s that simple.

One of my favorite hymns is Come Thou Fount, particularly because of the last verse:

O to grace how great a debtor
daily I’m constrained to be!
Let thy goodness, like a fetter,
bind my wandering heart to thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
prone to leave the God I love;
here’s my heart, O take and seal it,
seal it for thy courts above.

“Prone to wander” feels so real to me. How tempted I am to wander, and reading my Bible is one of those areas I am tempted to wander away from.

At the beginning of the year, many of us are reviewing our priorities and making resolutions. One of the best questions we can ask ourselves this year is “How can I make God/my faith a bigger priority in my life?” I don’t pretend to have the perfect, complete answer, but I think part of it is reading the Bible more. But when? And how? And why?

When?

In my own life I have most success reserving time in the early morning when my house is still quiet. If I wait until the kids are up, breakfast eaten, emails checked, I find that reading my Bible is a lot less likely to happen. Your life may be different, but this has consistently proven true for me.

How?

I think we often make this harder than it is. I often pick a book of the Bible and simply read a chapter or two a morning. Sometimes I read the same chapter every morning for days. The repetition is good for me, and I am amazed how I can recall it more clearly because of the slow repetition. Sometimes I take notes. Sometimes I don’t. At times, it is helpful for me to have a study guide to prompt me to think more thoroughly. Other times, I just read and attempt to pray over the truths afterwards.

Some of my friends use apps to read the Bible. The Crossing app (click Bible Reading Plans) has a few reading plans, and it gives you an audio option for listening to the chapter for the day. SheReadsTruth is one that many rave about (there is also a HeReadsTruth). For me, though, I know myself well enough to know that if I pick up my phone, I will be tempted to check email or social media, so I haven’t gone this route. But that could just be me!

I think the key here is not to over think this, but to just try. What works for one person may not work for the other. It is often a trial and error process. But the trying, and even more so, the keep trying, is the key. Sometimes the hardest thing is to try again, after many times of trying and not succeeding. If this is you, you are not alone.

Why?

The why question is probably the most important. You aren’t going to need to worry about the when and how if you haven’t grasped the why. I found this explanation from John Piper really helpful in thinking through the Why.

Why? Because God is my savior — and he has written a book. If this is true, wouldn’t I want to read it? It is his words that I want to guide me through my days. I pray that reading my Bible would be something that I don’t wander from in 2016. I don’t want something as amazing as God’s word to become so routine in my life that I neglect to see its beauty; instead my hope is that this book, God’s word, will continue as part of my daily routine.

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