Many Christians struggle to establish the discipline of daily Bible reading. It’s not because they’re shallow or disinterested in spiritual growth. They simply can’t get a handle on incorporating this spiritual practice into their daily routines.
The trouble nearly always stems from problems in one of three area: time, boredom, or comprehension.
Brian’s Story: No Time
Brian is 38 years old, married with three kids at home, and he works as a product representative for a pharmaceutical company.* He became frustrated with himself after his plan to read the Bible in one year petered out. Here’s what he said about it.
We had a “Year of the Bible” at our church, and I knew this was something I wanted to do. I bought one of those one-year Bibles, so the daily readings were right there in front of me. For about two weeks I was a reading machine—three chapters every day. Then I spent a week on the road and got off track. I caught up in February, but that lasted only another week or so. After that I sort of forgot about it. I guess I don’t have the discipline for this.
Yet Brian is a top producer for his company and an amateur triathlete. Discipline is the one thing he does have. What Brian lacks is time.
Something Has to Go
Most of us are living busy, even hectic, lives. Our schedules are like a glass that is full to the brim. Surface tension is the only thing holding our day together. Add one more drop, and something will have to spill out.
In order to add daily Bible reading to our lives—even 15 minutes’ worth—something will have to be displaced. So the question is not “Do you want to read the Bible more?” but “What will you do less in order to add this practice to your life?”
Here are some suggestions..
- Establish a daily reading time and guard the time slot jealously.
- Eliminate two hours of television per week.
- Answer e-mail only twice per day.
- Set a firm limit on the time you spend on Facebook.
- Reduce workout time by 2 hours per week (for serious athletes only).
- Brown bag it for lunch two days a week and use lunchtime for reading.
- Work fewer hours of voluntary overtime.
Television and the Internet are the two biggest time drains for most people. Seriously evaluate your TV and computer time, and you may easily identify the “extra” 15 minutes you need.
Brian decided to quit checking work e-mail after 6:00 p.m., which opened up about 20 minutes a day in his schedule. He finished reading the whole Bible in about one year after that.
How do you make time for Bible reading?
*Brian is a composite character based on a number of successful professionals I have known.