I’m a huge reader; it’s one of my favorite ways to pass the time. I know many of you girls also love to read. I’ll bet some of you can finish whole books in just a couple of days when you really enjoy them. I remember it only took me two days to finish Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows; nothing could distract me while I was reading that book.
Don’t you wish it were that easy to focus while reading your Bible? I do.
Girls, I am so easily distracted when I try to read my Bible. It seems like everything starts going a little haywire as soon as I open up the Word of God. I know it can feel like that for some of you as well, so I want to share with you a few tips for focusing during your time with the Lord.
- Turn off your electronic devices. Cell phones, laptops and tablets can be a huge distraction when you’re trying to focus on the Word of God. I know some of you may follow a YouVersion reading plan through the Bible app, and that’s great, but your phone does so many other things that it’s still hard to focus. If you’re following a plan on the Bible app (or any other app), write down the reading for the day in a journal or notebook, then turn your phone off and complete the reading using your Bible instead of the app. When you’ve finished, turn your phone back on and mark the reading as complete.
- Keep a piece of paper handy. This isn’t for taking notes as you read—this is for writing down any questions you have while reading (that you can answer later) or tasks for the day so you don’t forget them. As soon as I start reading my Bible, I start remembering all the stuff I need to do that day, and the next thing I know, I’m doing everything except reading my Bible.
- Have a notebook and a pen nearby. This is for writing down any notes you want to remember, verses you want to memorize or insight that the Holy Spirit gives you as you read. These things are easily forgotten, so write them down!
- Read slowly. Seriously. Take time to think about what you’re reading as you’re going through it. Leave time between verses, stories and chapters for the Holy Spirit to speak to you about what you’ve read. When the author (God) gives you insight about what you’re reading, it will be easier to focus because you’ll want more.
- Don’t overwhelm yourself. Be careful when setting your Bible reading goals. If you find that you have a hard time reading one chapter a day, then set a lower goal, like 5 to 10 verses a day. If you read more than that, great, and if not, that’s okay, too. God wants us to read His Word, but He isn’t disappointed if we aren’t reading 20 chapters a day!
God wants His Word to live in and change our hearts, minds and lives. If you’re trying to force yourself through several chapters a day, you’re probably not going to remember much of what you read. God would rather have you remember and apply a few verses or the principles of a single parable than have you read 20 chapters that you barely remember. As you get consistent about reading the Bible (no matter how much), you’ll build your ability to read and remember more and more, but it takes time. Start slowly and small and take your time.
How sweet are Your words to my taste! Yes, sweeter than honey to my mouth! From Your precepts I get understanding; therefore I hate every false way. (Psalm 119:103-104)
Girls, what other tips do you have for focusing while you’re reading the Bible?
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