I’ve heard from a few who are reading through the Bible in a year. Or they were. Things piled up. Yes, sometimes we get behind on our reading and it becomes a source of stress. Here are a couple of hacks for staying on track or getting back on track.
- The first is key. Don’t quit. Maybe you are a month behind. Maybe you haven’t made it out of Genesis yet. No worries. This is your private devotional journey. Don’t alter your goal. Instead…
- Alter time. One great approach, if you’ve gotten behind, is to call for a new New Year’s Day. Maybe you stayed with it for ten days before starting to slip. If you want to read this same amount daily (see the next point on this), then count back ten days from today and call that New Year’s Day. You will still read through the Bible in a year; you just stretched the year. That’s fine. It’s the reading that counts. Adjust the goal posts all you want, just keep holding on to that football.
- Taper back. Maybe you need a two-year plan instead of a one-year plan. Adjust the amount of reading you want to do in a day.
- Don’t despair or compare. You’re not in a race with anyone else. You should not feel ashamed that you fell behind in your Bible reading. This is kind of silly, right? Don’t make your devotions about self-discipline. Make them about “discoveries and discussions.” We discover the meaning for a day in God. We discuss with our spirit what His Word tells us and then we discuss it with Him through our prayers and our responses to His Grace throughout the day.
- If you can, another idea is to have a marathon Bible reading day or half-day. I can do this sometimes. Some people can’t at all. I totally get this. I know some single Christians who schedule “God days.” What a luxury! This, they tell me, is part of the plus-side of being single. They love it so much. They go somewhere scenic and catch up on their study and devotions. It’s just them and God.
- Take advantage of all the audio resources we now have. Maybe it’s best for you to listen to the Scriptures in the car during your daily commute. This is not cheating. This is your life and this is what will work for you in terms of connecting with God through His Word. So, get at it with my blessing! Also, I sometimes like to have the Scriptures read to me by a recording while I read along. This is especially helpful when my mind is racing all over the place, which is often. 🙂
- Enjoy God. Scripture study and devotions are like eating. We eat more of what we like. Maybe it’s just the New Testament this year. Then do that. Maybe you like Psalms and John and that’s it so far. Then start with those two books. Keep in mind that if you are bogging down then FITTING is the word, not QUITTING.
If you’ve come up with some other hacks yourself that have helped you stay the course, drop a note here about them for the rest of us. God bless!