How do I find time to read the Bible?

As a pastor I get asked this question often. I’m glad people are asking the question because that means they realize the importance of reading the Bible for their Christian life. (Some just say, “I don’t have time to read the Bible.” They are the ones who have not yet realized the importance of it.) Here are some things to consider that will help you make time to do what’s important.

You have the time to do the things you really want to do or need to do.

You “find” time to do things that are fun but non-essential/unimportant. You “find” time to take a long walk in the woods, lie on the back porch swing, or dust under the bookshelves. You “make” time to do things that are essential or important to you. So you make time to wash your clothes, eat, or watch your favorite TV program.

You have more time than you think.

You waste so much time each day you could not only read the Bible but read a few good books, too, if only you would manage your time better. How much time do you spend goofing off on the internet? Talking about nothing on the phone? Channel surfing? Add up all the time you waste each day and on most days you will have plenty of time.

Look for pockets of wasted time throughout the day.

What do you do while you eat? Read the Bible then. That TV show you watch every night that you really don’t care for anyway but watch just because you’ve always watched it? Read the Bible then. You don’t have to dust your Precious Moments figurine collection every day. Read the Bible then.

Make an appointment with yourself at the best time.

I know everyone thinks you have to get up at the crack of dawn to read your Bible and “have your devotions.” While there are some Scriptures that talk about prayer and meditating on Scripture in the morning, it’s better to do it sometime than not to do it at anytime. What I mean by that convoluted sentence is this: Reading it at night is better than not reading it because you couldn’t get up early to read it. If it works better to read it at night after the kids go to bed, then read it at night after the kids go to bed, as long as you read it.

Just do it.

We always manage to find the time to do the things that are important to us. If you really believe that your Christian life will be better by reading the Bible, you will find the time. It really is that simple. All the excuses in the world won’t change the fact that if I can find time to goof off on Facebook or mock reality TV, then I have time to read the Bible. And you can, too.

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About Michael R. Jones

Pastor and PhD candidate writing on Paul's theology of suffering.
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