For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.Hebrews 12:11
Do you struggle with consistently reading the Bible everyday?
Fear not, friend. You are not alone.
I have struggled with this endeavor for quite a long time. And I still don’t have it completely down.
We live in a world where instant gratification has become the norm. Anything that falls short of being fulfilled right away is simply ignored.
Unfortunately, that presents us with a huge disadvantage.
See, the best things in life often take time. And repetition. And more repetition.
But our society has become all about speed. We don’t want to wait. We don’t want to keep at it. Remember that guy who said patience is a virtue? Neither do I.
The Benefits Are Obvious
Reading the Bible everyday has clear benefits. Nobody can deny this.
From the perspective of a believer like myself, this should be obvious. If we call ourselves Christian but don’t read the Bible on a regular basis, are we really practicing our faith? Arguably, you can say it’s technically not required since your relationship is simply between you and God alone. But you would be missing out on a great deal.
Even if you’re a nonbeliever, the Bible presents several valuable lessons about morality that are applicable to everyone. Don’t lie, don’t steal, don’t murder. While everyone is free to form their own opinions, these moral standards are mostly universal.
So, if the benefits are so obvious, how many of us actually read the Bible everyday?
Why is Consistency So Hard?
Consistency is boring.
And it doesn’t seem worthwhile at first.
It’s not like some Hollywood blockbuster when all things seem hopeless and where the protagonist performs some incredibly heroic deed to save the day.
It’s not some video game where it’s really easy to score points to make us feel good right away.
Consistency is doing the same thing over and over again.
Because we easily get bored when things don’t change, that’s precisely why consistency can even feel painful at times.
But the root cause of why consistency is so hard is because we humans are lazy.
Need to Address Core Habits
An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.Newton’s First Law on Inertia
Okay, so I know this isn’t a quote from the Bible, but we can definitely learn something from the guy who had an apple fall on his head.
By default, we are all lazy. We will take the path of least resistance.
But that also often means we don’t get the maximum reward.
Back to Newton’s First Law.
Inertia. If we start lazy, that means we will stay lazy unless we have an external force acted upon us in order to make us un-lazy.
So how do we get ourselves moving?
Well, before we begin changing anything in our lives, we should start by simply observing ourselves. Know thyself in order to change thyself.
Two dots make a line. How can you know your trend unless you take multiple measurements?
One simple way to measure yourself is to just write down how you spend your time. I suggest breaking everything down into 30-minute intervals. Write down exactly how you spend each increment. Sleep, morning hygiene, exercise, food, work, TV, video games. Whatever you actually do. And be honest.
Keep it up for about a week. And you’ll start seeing a trend of how you spend your time.
Make Really Small Changes
Now that we have some data on ourselves, we can identify what we’re missing.
Most of the time, we are (pun-intended) missing time.
More accurately, we aren’t necessarily making the best use of our time. (If you truly do not have any free time, then you need to start de-committing parts of your life.)
Start making a small change.
A really, really small change.
For example, one small change could be to read one verse of the Bible in the morning right when you get up. That should take less than one minute.
Do this for a week without fail.
And as you get more confident, you can increase it to two verses.
The full chapter. (This is where I currently am at.)
Of course, you could go on if you wish, but the most important thing is to remain consistent. If you make it too hard, then you’re more likely to fail and break your chain.
So I would definitely not recommend reading an entire book each day, even if it will technically get you through the Bible in 66 days.
The key is finding a comfortable consistent rhythm that you can commit to on a continuous basis without fail.
Patience Really is a Virtue
I know it sounds cliche, but this is true.
You aren’t going to experience any miraculous change overnight.
It might even take longer than a few months or even a few years to understand the value of discipline.
But it’s the right thing to do.
Over time, God will reward you for your patience and dedication. I’ve experienced it.
By the way, I’ve done all of the things I’ve mentioned above. I’ve experimented with myself in many ways, and I’ve found changing my core habits to be the most effective way to stick with something.
I’m happy where I am right now, but I know that temptation is always around the corner to lead me astray. So I shall do my best to be steadfast and faithful.
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