It’s a new year. This brings resolutions and renewed promises for change.
You may be resolved to become a more disciplined reader of the Bible.
Ten years ago I had that same goal. Nine years ago, I also had that same goal. And then eight years ago. Do you see where this is going? The same goal year after year.
I tried all the systems “experts” told me would make me disciplined.
One system said it was all about what passages I chose to read. The theory was if I read just a little bit from here and some from there, then I’d be disciplined to read my Bible every day.
Another system said it was all about reading the Bible through in a year (which is a great goal). Just read and check the box. It was pitched that such an approach would provide the necessary incentive to keep pursuing the goal.
Still another system said it was all about the version of the Bible. There are versions more conducive to daily reading. Reading those would surely make me a disciplined Bible reader.
Then there was that one that told me to get up two hours earlier. Yeah. No. Nope.
None of it worked. I would read and then fall behind. I’d catch up only to fall behind again. By the end of January I wasn’t any more disciplined than before.
I’ve long since concluded that ingesting God’s word daily is a necessity. It is my compass, my true north. I couldn’t chuck it just because no system was working.
Then I stumbled upon a solution that has worked wonders for me. For years.
But here’s the funny thing, it likely WON’T work for you. I probably should have mentioned that at the beginning. Sorry.
Here’s the good news, the principle of why it worked for me will help you.
So what was the solution that worked wonders?
I started having my daily Bible reading sent to me through email. *fireworks shoot off in the background of your imagination as you think “this is the most amazing thing I’ve ever heard in my life”*
That’s it. The most undisciplined guy became a disciplined Bible reader.
Why did this work for me?
It worked for me because my email inbox represents one area of my life where I am already disciplined. I have to have a clean inbox (see screenshot from my inbox this morning). Many of you may know this. So, by receiving my daily Bible reading in my inbox, I’ve channeled it to an area where I already have discipline. I don’t need to become disciplined in processing email. I’m already disciplined. And my discipline in that ensures I will process all emails including those that have daily Bible readings.
Did you catch the principle? Don’t start a new discipline. Instead, find an area that you are already disciplined. And somehow attach Bible to it.
Here are some possible examples where you may already be disciplined:
- Do you always start the day with a cup of coffee or end it with a drink? Could you have Bible with your brew?
- Do you always spend 10 minutes in the bathroom getting ready? Could you press play on an audio Bible so it’s read to you?
- Do you always commute to work or walk to school? What are you thinking about? Would you have 5 minutes to listen to Bible? You’d still need to figure out weekends.
- Do you always have a coffee/smoke/lunch break built into your day?
- Do you always keep a clean inbox? My people! What I’ve described above really helped me. Give it a try!
- Do you always sit in an endless line of cars outside your kids’ school at the end of the day waiting and waiting? Just me? Okay.
- Do you always make dinner? There’s a window. If you eat cereal as much as me, that’s a very small window.
- Do you always check your phone? What are you checking? Got time to check out Bible?
- Do you always click through that news site or sports page? Can the Bible get clicked too?
- Do you always keep up on your financial status? If you’re disciplined there, maybe, somehow, the Bible could get enfolded too.
- Do you always work out? What do you listen to?
- Do you always catch that favorite show? You’re disciplined there. How can Bible be enfolded into it? I have no idea. I’m just saying, you may already be disciplined in your tv watching.
- Do you always keep up with a certain podcast? Can Bible be one of them?
- Do you always make time in the evening to read whether on the couch or in bed? Boom. You got it.
Where are you the MOST disciplined? Is there any way possible to channel Bible reading through that disciplined area?
If you can somehow get the Bible enfolded into that which you always get done, you will become a disciplined Bible reader. At least, that’s been my experience.