It happens to all of us sometimes: we find reading the Bible to be a chore. The words are flat on the page. There’s no amazing insight coming to us. It’s a struggle to even pick up our Bibles at all some days. We get so far behind on our reading plans that you feel like it would be better to pick up where you left off next February.
I get it. This really does happen to everyone. But it doesn’t have to be where we stay. When we find ourselves stuck, it’s a sign that we need a refresh. To start over in a way that encourages us to want to read. Here are four tips that may help reinvigorate your reading experience.
Try a new (or new to you) translation
I know we’re all conditioned to align with different brands and be exclusive in our Bible translations but hear me out. Sometimes the best thing we can do when we’re in a rut is try a different version.
Reading from a different translation helps us see the Scriptures anew. Familiar passages may seem a little fresher. New questions may emerge as we read. A verse or chapter will hit us a little differently. All of this is good and can inspire us to keep going.
Focus on one book of the Bible
Whenever I’m at a loss for what to read, or when I’m feeling stuck, I turn to the Psalms. Reading the prayers and songs of God’s people helps me see the human and communal side of our relationship with God. When I don’t know what to pray, I can join with them. If I need to be reminded of the greatness of God, their praise becomes mine. (And a great resource to help you focus on the Psalms, for example, is Spurgeon and the Psalms.)
Maybe it’s not the Psalms that you need. Perhaps it’s Hebrews, one of the Gospels, or even Obadiah. Whatever it is, just read. Grab a Bible journal to help you focus. And whatever book you choose, keep reading it until you’ve mastered it (or rather, it masters you).
Try a focused reading plan
Sometimes the biggest issue when we hit a rut is not knowing where to start. A focused reading plan, one that is limited in scope, can give a framework to make the most of your time in God’s Word.
You might explore a major theme or topic across scripture. Or dig deep into a particular Bible book. Or work through a chronological study. Whatever option you choose, just making a plan can be a powerful way to strengthen and refresh your Bible reading.
Listen to an audio Bible
A final way to refresh your engagement with Scripture isn’t by reading it, but by hearing it. Whether you’re listening during your commute, on a walk in your neighborhood, or catching up on chores at home, this is a way you can get Scripture into your life when you might not be able to otherwise. And by hearing Scripture, you can notice different aspects of a passage that you might miss otherwise, as what might be familiar becomes fresh once more.