Honestly, how difficult is it to stay up with the numerous chapters that are assigned each day to accomplish reading through the Bible, reading the Bible in a year that is? At times, I would fall behind (sometimes 2-3 days – shh, don’t tell anyone) and I would have to read upwards of 12 chapters to catch up. Inevitably, in my catching up, I wasn’t retaining what I read, but was merely checking the box so as to ease my conscience. Yet, there were other times when God the Holy Spirit slowed me down and opened my mind to some pretty awesome passages that I’ve no doubt skimmed over before without really understanding them or internalizing them.
So, here’s my thoughts on the pros and cons of reading through the Bible. But I do need to specify what exactly I’m referring to since one friend humorously shared with me earlier today, “I didn’t know that reading through the Bible actually had any negatives attached to it.” So the comments that follow are my thoughts concerning the joys and struggles of committing to reading through the Bible…in one year.
- Reading through the Bible is difficult.
- I learned that I have a shallow love for God’s Word. I know this from the many times (over the course of a year mind you) that I glossed over my daily task or ignored it all-together. Keep in mind, as a pastor I’m in the Word all most everyday in preparation for my sermon that is to be preached every Sunday at 11:00. However, I try to do studying/reading of the Word that is independent of what I’m preaching through. Nevertheless, God, in His grace and mercy is continually deepening my desire for His Word and I pray He graciously continues to.
- I learned that my knowledge of the Scriptures is not where it should be.
- Don’t allow it to become a burden. If it does, then my advice is don’t trudge through for the sole reason of checking off the box. God isn’t impressed with that type of unspiritual commitment. And yes, if you’re wondering, I struggled with this too.
- Recall is tough. A lot of times I read several chapters and in the moment found myself going “aha!” but hours later I couldn’t remember what I had read. This problem can be remedied (though not completely) with simply journaling a brief summary and any thoughts or questions concerning the text. Consequently, application was more difficult to realize in my everyday walk with Christ.
- Reading through the Bible is reading with a “broad stroke.” Rather than doing an intense, exegetical study of a particular passage, reading several chapters allows you to glean an overview of the Scriptures, become familiar with many passages you otherwise wouldn’t read and hopefully see the big-picture of the Bible, which, in my personal opinion, is redemption in Christ to the glory of God.
- Supplement reading through the Bible with a more intense study of a smaller chunk of Scripture.
- As you read through several chapters a day, do additional study on the genre, themes, covenants and background of a particular book so as to become more familiar with the specific book you’re reading through, which will allow you insight into the verses and chapters you scour over.
- Reading through the Bible in a year does foster good habits, one of which is a daily plan to read God’s Word everyday. Though at times the reading schedule was laborious (is that unspiritual of me to say?), it was something I thought about constantly and my personal reading, along with personal reflection and memorization has been more consistent than it has for a long time.