5 Tips to Make Daily Bible Reading a Habit
Making daily Bible reading a habit can be such a struggle.
Simply put, we often don’t want to put in the effort. We opt for the path of least resistance – we scroll and scroll and scroll through our newsfeeds. We settle for simple, easy things instead of taking on the tasks that form us into the people we want to be. Or sometimes, we’re like Martha, distracting ourselves with the preparations, building up hours of work that we deem more important than sitting at the feet of our Lord.
But the Word of God isn’t a buffet for us to pop in and out of, grabbing and choosing what we want at that moment. It is the sustaining word we need to live (Matthew 4:4). It needs to be a part of every decision, day and choice.But the Word of God isn’t a buffet for us to pop in and out of, grabbing and choosing what we want at that moment. It is the sustaining word we need to live (Matthew 4:4). It needs to be a part of every decision, day and choice. Click To Tweet
But yet, we struggle. I struggle. Here are 5 ways I’ve worked past it and implemented daily Bible reading in my own life:
1. Let go of the idea that it has to be perfect or ground shattering: accept the transformative matter of mundane habits
The first thing I had to work past was the idea that reading my Bible was going to be amazingly transformative, clearly applicable, and consistently provide a mountaintop experience for me. The reality is, oftentimes, we don’t see the fruits of our obedience immediately. Often, we labor in the work God has given us and when we least expect it, find comfort in a verse or passage tucked away long ago, waiting for the moment God has prepared.
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. – Galatians 6:9, ESV
2. Choose a plan, or don’t. Just don’t over-complicate it.
This requires a lot of self-understanding. What holds you back from reading your Bible? Do you get paralyzed by not knowing where to start? If no, choosing a simple reading plan (just do a quick Google search for a basic one for the month). On the flip side, I am often paralyzed by thinking I need to have a perfect plan for my Bible reading to be meaningful. For me, the battle is to simply pick up my Bible and read something. Whichever end of the spectrum you lie on, you need to identify your hang-ups and acknowledge the need to read your Bible.
3. Write it into your planner
If you like written planners (or even a digital calendar) start writing your Bible time into your planner. Pick a specific time, it could be first thing in the morning, over your lunch hour, before bed – whatever works best for you. For me, it is most helpful not to choose a specific time, but to list it as a task in my planner to check off each day. It is there, as a reminder and I don’t have the feeling of it being “too late” if I miss my early morning “appointment,” I simply adjust my day.
4. Give yourself a limit/reward while you develop the habit.
Like any habit, when you start making Bible reading a regular part of your life, it will help to incentivize yourself. In high school, I was an avid reader. I decided to help myself pick-up my Bible each day, I have made a rule that I didn’t read anything until after I had read my Bible. The idea was simple, I found something that motivated me to pick up my Bible. Maybe for you, it’s deciding to wait to drink your coffee until after your Bible time (or perhaps it’s making your morning coffee your Bible time) or choosing a set time, such as your car ride home from work, to listen to an audio version of the Bible. Find a checkpoint, or something that motivates you, and use it to start building your habit of daily Bible reading.
5. Make time – but don’t let quantity limit you
Bible reading is important. But for most of us, going from struggling to read the Bible to spending an hour in the Word each day simply isn’t realistic. Start today with the time you do have and don’t let your idea of what “should” be limit you from starting. If you have 60 seconds, pick up your Bible and read a verse. If you have a couple of minutes, a chapter. Start with what you can do today and work up from there.If you have 60 seconds, pick up your Bible and read a verse. If you have a couple of minutes, a chapter. Start with what you can do today and work up from there. Click To Tweet
Wherever you are starting from, the important thing is to START. Open your physical Bible, download a Bible reading app, sign-up for a daily email (Try She Reads Truth!), or find an audio plan. The Word of God is living and active. Making daily Bible reading a part of your everyday life matters.
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I did the same thing in high school. I made the rule that Bible time came before leisure reading! It helped a lot!
I like your idea about setting an incentive for your new habits or goals. I struggle with having my devotional time be a check off item on my to do list everyday and really want it to be something that I desire more than anything else.
Daily reading is something I’ve began struggling with after birth, excellent read.
“Don’t over complicate it!” That’s so true!
My favorite tip here is don’t over complicate it. That is so true! I find that the more challenging I make the process the less likely I am to actually read. Thanks for some great motivating tips!