I’m going to be completely blunt here: the Bible can be horrendously boring. I think that’s one of the biggest hurdles the common man has to face when trying to get into the Good Book. Also, life’s demands get in the way. When there are two projects due tomorrow, you can bet I’m not going to be sitting at my desk combing through Exodus. How, then, can a person read the Bible when it’s boring and there’s no time? Here are some things I’ve found have really helped me.
- Have a desire to read. This is basically the fundamental. In order to read the Bible more, you have to want it at least a tiny bit. You can’t get anywhere if you don’t want to read. But, considering you’re reading this post, you probably have a desire. Even a faint intrigue matters! Coals can be fanned into flame.
- Download the Bible app onto your phone. This is especially helpful for people who are pressed for time, or for the majority of people who don’t want to lug around a huge book. If you search for Bible on the app store, it’ll be there. The app icon looks like a brown Bible with a red bookmark sticking out the bottom. It’s totally free, and you can do so many things with it. You can highlight in an entire rainbow of colors, bookmark, and find plans that help guide you through reading. Delete Candy Crush for this. I promise it’ll be worth it.
- Switch to a different translation. Many people associate the Bible with archaic, confusing language. This is mostly because they’re thinking of the KJV, or King James Version. Believe me, I wouldn’t be reading this much of the Bible if all I had was the KJV. Switch to a different translation! It’s the same Word of God, except phrased differently. I recommend the NLT (New Living Translation). It’s simple and clear. Oh, and if you download the Bible app, you can switch between dozens of translations with just a few taps. Download the app.
- Read in chronological order. I love books and stories, so I’m reading the Bible in chronological order. If you love imagining the past, I recommend doing this. You can visualize time, history, and customs progressing. It’s more motivation to keep on reading.
- Choose the right book to read. I mean, there’s no right or wrong book to read, because it’s the Bible. What I mean is that when you’re starting off, you should pick a book of the Bible that piques your interest. Don’t force yourself to read through Numbers if you don’t feel like it.
- Buy highlighters. I also have a hard copy of the Bible, because I prefer to read an actual book when I’m at home. I have a pouch of four, different-colored highlighters. Each one represents something different. If you assign a category for each color, you can look for verses that correspond with that category. If you’re lost, you can start with my categories: blue, which is for hope, is great to read in crises; pink, which is for love, reminds me of God’s love and instructions for how to love/care for others; green, which represents growth areas, helps me identify areas of my life I need to work on; and yellow, which is for relatable verses (woe is me) or things I strongly agree with. For a skeptic like me, I also have a black marker I use to underline verses I don’t agree with, or that are confusing.
- Find a devotional. Devotionals have verses that correspond with the passage, so you can always look those up really quickly.
- Read Proverbs. I am currently obsessed with Proverbs. It’s so much fun to annotate with my aforementioned highlighters, and there’s a lot to learn there. Even if you’re not a Christian, Proverbs has a ton of practical, common sense advice. (Don’t sleep with your neighbor’s spouse–yep, that’s in there. Pretty standard knowledge.)
- Read a shorter book. In the New Testament, there are plenty of micro-books. 1, 2, and 3 John are pretty short. So, if books like Psalms overwhelm you, you can stick with the shorter ones. You can read those in less than 20 minutes.
- Keep track of verses you like. Sometimes I’ll be reading, and I find a verse that really sticks out to me. I scribble it on a piece of paper on my desk. Then, weeks later, I look back through the verses I’ve identified and I read them again. It’s like opening a gift for the second time and being just as surprised. If you look hard enough, you’ll find something new to think about every time you read the Bible.
- Pray. This should really be at the top of the list. If you’re having trouble finding the time or motivation to read, ask God. Believe me, you’re not alone. I’ve had to ask God to help me want to want to read the Bible.
I hope I’ve helped you some. If you have any other suggestions, or if you want more tips, feel free to drop a comment. 🙂