a collection of words.

Stop making “the Bible in a year” a sacred calf

It's mid-January. Are you worried about your Bible reading plan?

Stop making “the Bible in a year” a sacred calf
Local calf, not sacred.

Every year, untold multitudes manage to read the first 11 chapters of Genesis and then they get busy enough that they stop trying to manage their reading plan. It’s a frustration that I’m very familiar with. You miss one day and then suddenly you’ve got pages and pages and pages that need to be read in order to catch up.

The trouble with getting stressed about this is that nobody said you had to read the Bible in a single, calendar year. Sure, it is possible to do so. And it doesn’t take a huge time commitment to do so. But it isn’t commanded in the Bible.

And, what tends to happen, is that having this mindset means that people never read their Bibles. That they never make it through because there’s always next year in order to try again. But we aren’t promised next year. We’re not promised tomorrow. So instead of trying to read the Bible in a year, consider changing the nature of the goal.

Start small.

The Bible is a big book as a whole, but there are smaller chunks that take less time to work through. Consider focusing on reading through a Gospel or one of the letters.

Start slow.

Slower reading can be a vehicle for more thoughtful reading. Rushing through it won’t help you understand it.

Don’t restart.

Treat it as an ongoing project by making the goal simply to complete a reading plan. If you’re behind, just pick up where you left off. If you never started, start a plan today. Nobody said that 1 January is the only day a reading plan can begin.

In the end, you’ll probably find that by starting small, slow or just continuing where you left off, it will be much easier to put on the habit of spending time getting to know God through his word.

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Jamie Larson
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