5 Ways to Enjoy God's Word (Even If You Hate Reading)

Trust me, I know how it feels to be lacking in time.

At the Gilmore household, many days we're lucky just to have time to eat dinner. Were it not a biological necessity, we'd probably skip it (despite my love of food). But after work, school activities, homework, and all the other things we have to do when is there possibly time to read the Bible?

And even if time presents itself, if you don't understand what you're reading or why it's important how are you going to enjoy the process? 

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So too often we skip Bible time either because it's not urgent or because the process is boring and frustrating.

But what happens if you stay on such a course? What if you continue allowing your Bible to collect dust on the bookshelf?

First, you become vulnerable to false theology.
There's no shortage of people twisting scripture for gain. If you're not familiar with what the Word actually says you are in danger of being led astray. Remember, Satan tempted Jesus using scripture.

Second, you become more susceptible to sin. King David wrote, "I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you" (Psalm 119:11). No, Bible reading is not immunity from sin. Notice David uses the word "might." And indeed, even as God's beloved, David committed his fair share of sin. But having the Word top of mind makes things much easier.

So as you can see, not reading your Bible isn't really an option either. What then, is the solution?

How to Look Forward to Quiet Time

I haven't always loved God's Word. I slogged through it on again and off again for most of my life. But using these five techniques I have been able to maintain a consistent reading schedule for over five years. And I can honestly say that almost every day, I look forward to reading my Bible. I am confident you can do the same using these five tips:

1. Ask God for two things

Pray that God will grant you success in your endeavor and that He will grant you a love for His Word.

Often when we ask for things, God tells us no. (I’m still waiting on that Ferrari). But these are two prayers He loves to answer in the affirmative.

2. Train yourself using the shower technique

Marketing pundit Seth Godin has an interesting take on how to get your body in shape:

If you want to get in shape, don't sign up for fancy diet this or Crossthat the other thing. No, the way to get in shape is to go to the gym every single day, change your clothes and take a shower. If you can do that every single day for a month, pretty soon you'll start doing something while you're there... (Crash Diets and Good Habits)

Taking a shower has nothing to do with losing weight, but Godin's point is if you can get to the gym consistently, working out is secondary. The hardest part is showing up. And the same is true when it comes to scripture.

Schedule ten minutes per day—no matter what—to sit down and stare at your Bible. Ten minutes too much? Then start with five. Five too much? Try one minute.

Just one minute.

One minute per day consistently over time is better than an hour one day per week. Seriously? Seriously. Why? You’re exposed to the Word more frequently, and you’re more likely to develop a habit. Once you establish a Bible reading habit, you can slowly increase the duration.

If you miss a day, don’t try to make it up. Doing so builds up a deficient that will seem insurmountable in your mind. Simply let it go and start fresh the next day.

3. Try a different kind of Bible

I never got into those Bible reading plans that had you read some Old Testament and some New Testament each day. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that approach, but it wasn’t for me. I prefer to focus on one section at a time (even if it’s grueling).

Instead I recommend a chronological Bible. While I do think it’s important to recognize and understand the canonized order of the scripture, I also think that you will benefit greatly from reading the narrative, Psalms, and prophetic visions in a logical context.

I use the Chronological Study Bible, and I wrote a review about it here:


But you don’t need to go out and buy a new Bible. You can always follow chronological reading plans, or do what I did at first: read the Bible straight through.

I know common wisdom tells you not to read straight through because you’ll get bogged down in Leviticus, but that’s why we’ve already established a habit in step two, right?

Still struggling? Consider listening to an audio version of the Bible.

4. Look for application

As I wrote to my subscribers a few months ago, James 1:22 has a tendency to haunt me:
Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.

Studying scripture is an exercise in futility if you never apply it to your life. Always seek opportunities to do what it says.

And if you read for any length of time, eventually a verse will stand out to you. You will feel like God provided the passage just for you in that moment. Maybe it’s a word of peace you need in a time of despair or of conviction for some sin in your life.

True, it’s difficult to find application in genealogies and censuses, but in those passages it is helpful to ask yourself why they are important and how they fit within the larger context of the Bible as a whole.

The Bible may seem irrelevant to your life, but that’s simply not true. Hebrews tells us that "The word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart” (4:12).

The word is God-breathed, inspired by the Spirit. So if authorship is of the LORD, He can (and will) speak to your life through His revelation.

5. Rest

Although I’ve been reading consistently for half of a decade, I only read five days a week. I take Saturday off as a sort of Sabbath, and on Sunday I engage the Word at church.

Just as with work, I believe it is important to step back and rest one day a week to prevent burning out. When Monday comes, I (usually) am excited to pick the Bible back up. 

How to Stay Encouraged 

If you follow these five steps, I believe you can have an enjoyable experience in the Word—even if you hate reading.

As with most things, you’ll get out of it what you put in. If you approach the Bible half-heartedly, you’ll get half-hearted results.

Don’t get discouraged. Reading the Word is an essential part of your relationship with Christ. John 1:1 tells us that God and His Word are one, so engaging it means engaging Him. But as with any relationship there will be ups and downs. Yet those who persevere succeed.

And don't forget to sign up for my free monthly article here.

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