Monday, January 11, 2010

Bible Reading Laziness

People everywhere are reading their Bibles... at least for a few more days. Thousands of guilt-avoiders have entered 2010 saying, "I should read my Bible more this year." As a Christian and pastor, I'm always thrilled when people read their Bibles. Lots of slipping is starting to take place - on the roads - and in our Bible study attempts. We are less than 2 full weeks into 2010 and there are untold numbers who have started slipping from their vague "read the Bible more this year" resolutions. It has become another chore or "to do list" item. It can and should be one activity that we really look forward to doing. I actively work to avoid the disease of "Bible Reading Laziness." Here's some things that I do to keep it fresh and exciting for me.
1) I develop a plan of what I will read today in the Bible. I have done many different plans over the years. Without an intentional approach, you'll stop sooner.
2) I pray that God will help me stay focused and interested. Don't forget, this is His word after all.
3) I work to understand what it meant when it was written before I seek to make personal applications. This is the hard part, but it is the key to becoming a Bible student.
4) I often read with a pencil in hand. My mind is much more focused and engaged when I am looking to circle or underline in my Bible (I like pencils b/c pens & highlighters too often bleed through the thin page).
5) I will sometimes read out loud. The words sink in when I see, hear, and say them.
6) I read (much) more than a chapter a day. I can read most chapters in 5 minutes or less. Spend some time reading more at once so it has a chance to sink in.
7) I always read a more "interesting" book when I'm in a tougher book. For instance, I recommend reading a New Testament epistle to supplement your reading of books like Leviticus or Ezekiel. (there are no unimportant books - but some are more straightforward and directly practical)
8) I view Bible Reading and Bible Study as two separate activities. All Christians should do both. Bible Reading is like doing an aerial tour of the Grand Canyon. Bible Study is like hiking through the Grand Canyon.
9) I look forwards to sharing what I learn with others. Why should I keep all this good stuff to myself?
10) I read the Bible through in a new translation every year. With true respect for those whom this appals, this helps me evaluate translations while experiencing true spiritual growth through the readily available resources of our day.

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