7 Ways to Read the Bible When You Really Don’t Feel Like It by CHANSHI CHIBWE for Charisma News
We’ve all been there. You’re sitting and staring with the Bible on your lap, idly flipping through pages waiting for inspiration to strike—it doesn’t. You try again—still nothing. You can’t seem to get into a healthy groove of reading the Word lately. And that’s only if you’ve made it so far as to actually open it.
You are one of millions who confess to struggling to read the Bible in their daily lives. According to a study by LifeWay, less than 25% of people who read the Bible have a methodology to read it consistently.
It’s our overwhelming reality to struggle with reading the Bible consistently. I personally find myself in this familiar tango even as my relationship with God advances from year to year. Infrequency is simply human nature. The popular culprits responsible are lack of time, lack of motivation or discipline, feeling intimidated and overall struggling to apply the Bible to everyday life.
Despite this, when we find ourselves disenchanted with reading the Word there are countless practical ways to reinvigorate your passion. Here are seven helpful tricks I’ve picked up in my personal journey to fall back in love with reading the Bible when you’re not “feeling it.”
- Listen to an audio Bible. An understated method of taking in the Word is audibly. Experiencing familiar text audibly engages your brain in a new, meaningful way and ultimately your spirit. It’s also advantageous for fitting “Bible time” into a busy schedule. You can listen in the car on your morning commute, while walking your dog or waiting for your dentist appointment. YouVersion’s Bible app has an audio function with great narration. You can also look up popular audio Bibles like Press Bible or Daily Audio Bible to find the right “voice” for you. Don’t forget to turn your notifications on for daily nudges to read! You’ll be surprised how much this simple change can renew your experience.
- Try a new Bible translation. This may seem like an insignificant change, but switching translations has made a monumental difference in my reading experience. There is nothing wrong with committing to a translation you’re comfortable with and trust; however, it never hurts to explore and research more. For many who read a classic translation like New International Version (NIV), perhaps flip to the modern vernacular of The Message or The Passion Translation for a month. Or take it in the opposite direction and try a more formal translation such as the King James Version. Whether or not it’s something you’ll stick with long term, exploring a new translation will not only serve as a helpful challenge for your mind, but it also will enrich your spirit to learn Scripture from a new point of view.
- Read just one verse, Psalm or Proverb a day. As mentioned, a common deterrent to reading the Bible consistently is intimidation. With just under 1,200 chapters and over 30,000 verses, it’s indisputable—there’s a lot to chew on. For those who grew up in church like myself, we often inherit a familiar anxiety around reading “enough.” It wasn’t until I matured in my faith walk that I realized how manufactured and spiritless this concept is. There is no performance required to meet Jesus in the Word. He simply wants you there. Instead of pressuring yourself to read a chapter or more, focus on one verse a day. You can also try one Proverb or one Psalm a day. These are excellent chapters to absorb one bite at a time.