By Cat Sharp

The One Habit That Will Change Your Life -
Are You Doing This?

Over my work with clients, I have identified one major thing that they all have in common.

One thing that stands out in our very first meeting together.

One habit that has been missing that they want to build, but have been putting it off. And when they start being consistent in it, it changes everything else.

It’s not exercise.

It’s not breakfast.

It’s not even cutting sugar out of their diets.

Come on, Cat, I’ve got stuff to do. Stop dragging this out and tell me what it is already!

The one habit that changes everything else is daily Bible reading.

Crazy how simple this is, right? But that’s the issue. What’s easy to do is also easy not to do.

It’s easy to put it off. Many times we feel selfish taking that time away from our responsibilities to read our Bibles. Sometimes we get bogged down in confusion and overwhelm with what we don’t understand that it’s easier to just keep that book closed. Sometimes we settle for audios, videos, and information from teachers, because that’s good, too, right?

What’s easy to do is also easy not to do.

So let's break down those excuses now, shall we?

Excuse 1: I don’t have time to read my Bible.

This one is going to be short. Ready?

Oh, shut up.

Now, before you think I’m being mean, and close this page, please listen to my heart here: I have been there! I know how easy it is to get away from the habit!!! I could ask you all the standard questions, like how much time have you spent watching TV or scrolling social media or waiting in line this week? But none of that matters. The truth is that if something is important to you, you make it work. If you are making excuses around reading your Bible, it’s not important to you right now.

We never intentionally say, “Sorry, God, I just don’t care about you right now. Thanks, though!” But the distractions that pull us away are signs that our heart is pulling away from Him. Consider this excuse a red flag from the Holy Spirit trying to get your attention so you seek the Lord!

Excuse 2: I don’t really understand what I read. Sometimes it makes me tired.

If I asked everyone reading this to raise your hand if you have ever felt this way, every single hand on the interwebs would be raised. Yes, really.

You are not supposed to understand everything you read immediately. Babies don’t start out eating steak and potatoes; they start with mother’s milk or formula. There are many mentions in the Bible of believers growing in maturity, which deepens their understanding of the Word. (1 Peter 2:2, Hebrews 5:12). It’s totally okay to need milk before you eat steak!

I used to beat myself up for not understanding things when I read the Bible. Now I get excited, because I know that I’m still a growing, learning Christian, and that the more I seek God, the more I will learn. And when I do finally understand new things? I really get excited! Nothing makes me feel more loved than understanding new from the Word of God!

And the Word of God is clear on this: if you lack wisdom, ask Him for it. (James 1:5). If you’re not asking, that may be why you still don’t have wisdom.

Excuse 3: I listen to/read/watch lessons from preachers and teachers, and that’s just as good as reading my Bible.

You know I love a good lesson from a preacher or teacher who knows more than me! But I can’t live on their hand-me-downs. God’s Word is intended for all of us, and if I only rely on what another human teaches me, I may fall prey to incorrect teaching (not that anyone teaches incorrectly on purpose, but we’re human! We all make mistakes!) The Bible tells us to be watchful and to test everything we’re taught against God’s Word. (1 Timothy 4, Acts 17, Titus 1) If all we know of God’s Word is what others tell us, we can’t do that. We’re just taking their word for it. That, my sister, is a dangerous place for any Christian to be.

So what do you do if you've been putting off your Bible time? Where do you start?

I told you that I had been there, right? Well, that’s true. I used to despise reading my Bible. Every time I tried, I felt stupid, I felt tired, and I felt like I had wasted my time. So I started praying for God to change my heart. I prayed that He would give me a true desire to read His Word, and that He would help me understand it. I prayed this prayer for weeks, every single day. I would open my Bible, pray, and read. I still felt stupid, tired, and like I had done absolutely nothing, but I did it. I went through that motion.

Until one day I realized that I was enjoying myself. I was picturing the story in my mind, wondering how I would have reacted in that scenario. I was wondering why God had included such a story in the Bible, and what we as modern day Christians should learn from it.

It hit me like a truck. God, this is what Bible reading is supposed to be like! I’m supposed to hear from You and allow it to change me! Thank You, God!!

So my recommendation to you is based purely on my own experience. But here is what worked for me: 

  • Pray.
  • Read your Bible anyway, even if you don’t want to.

Anytime I find myself getting into that “funk” again, where I struggle to open the book, I return to Psalm 119 and read one section each day. This chapter is full of prayers and songs praising God for His Word. As I read, I pray that section over my own life. And God has never failed. My joy for His Word always returns, and I always learn new things every time I revisit a piece of Scripture (wanna know why my programs have gone through so many updates? It’s because of THIS!!! As I learn new things, I want to share them!)

You may also want to find yourself a daily devotional that will lead you to a passage of Scripture each day. Yes, I am fully aware that I am pointing you to lessons from teachers after my earlier rant, but a devotional that actually points you to the Bible is a nice way to get started in daily Bible reading if you are rebuilding the habit. Lessons are great, as long as they aren’t your only source of learning.

I certainly hope that helps! We all go through phases of life where we lose the “want to” to dig into God’s Word, but it’s too important for us to miss! Consider this a loving kick to get you back into regular Bible reading! ❤

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