The new year is about a month away. That means it’s time to commit to, in the words of Lumière, “Promises you don’t intend to keep.” We call them New Year’s Resolutions. And I for one, am totally for them.
But here’s the thing. If you have a Bible app on your phone you’ve probably already seen ads trying to get you to start a one-year Bible reading plan.
I think that’s a bad idea.
I’m sure you didn’t expect me to discourage you from reading the Bible, but that’s not at all what I’m doing. On the contrary, I want you to fall in love with the Bible and read it consistently, which is why I’m telling you not to do a year-long Bible reading plan.
I’m glad you asked.
The Bible has 1,189 chapters. That means that you have to read an average of 3.25 chapters every single day in order to finish it in a year.
Technically that isn’t a terribly difficult goal, but let’s be honest. Most of us don’t read the Bible every day. And do you know what happens when you fall behind in your goals?
You quit. It’s that simple.
If you’ve ever tried a one-year Bible reading plan you know what I’m talking about. Sure, you’re excited at the beginning. Maybe you stay consistent for a couple of days, or perhaps even a week or two. And if you’re a super-Christian, you might even make it through the whole month of January. But at some point you’ll have a chaotic week and you’ll realize on Saturday that you only read the Bible once that week. Now you have 15 chapters to read instead of 3.25.
And if you’re like me, that just isn’t going to happen.
Those of you who are Type-A may try to play catch for a few days, but what is far more likely is that the next week will be the week you give up because you’re buried by a reading plan (and probably by a little legalism too).
So if you’re a bit of an inconsistent and easily discouraged person like I am, I have a better way for you to read the Bible next year.
Ready? Here it is.
Pick three books from the Bible that you want to read. Read them. Then pick three more. Repeat.
This will keep you from being overwhelmed by trying to read the whole Bible in a year. Nothing sets you up for failure more than having a big goal to accomplish in a large amount of time. It’s way better to set small, easily attainable goals for short periods of time.
So my advice to you is to pick three books from the Bible to read in three months. It’s an easy goal and a short amount of time to accomplish it.
It also gives you room to be human and miss a day without seriously falling behind. After all, the goal is not about reading every single day without skipping. The goal is to finish three books of the Bible. And that is a great goal.
If you want to keep things interesting, pick Biblical books from different categories (click here to see what I mean). You could read one book from the Old Testament and two from the New. Or you can get even more specific and read one poetic book (like the Psalms or Proverbs), one of the gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke or John), and one of the letters of the apostles.
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