Each day, you wake up at a certain time of the morning, let’s say 8 am. You check your phone, the latest Instagram feeds, Tiktok reels, Facebook posts and Youtube videos. An hour passes by before you even started your day. You had an idea of what the day would look like yesterday right? You set it all up, what time you need to wake up, 5 am but you decided to sleep in as you did many times before. Bible study was next up on the list, but that got replaced by mindless browsing through social media. Before you realise, your bad habits have taken over without you knowing.
This is the exact routine that I found myself in not too long ago. I subconsciously created these bad habits.
What is a habit?
A settled the tendency or usual manner of behaviour, her habit of taking a morning walk. 2a: an acquired mode of behaviour that has become nearly or completely involuntary got up early from the force of habit.
You see, our daily lives are made up of small habits, good and bad. Whether that is a good habit of waking up early to get a jump on the day or a bad habit of eating unhealthy foods that damage your body.
One of the toughest habits to create are the ones that we need most.
It’s easy to eat the wrong things and not to exercise, that habit is easy to create.
But to wake up early and exercise is not easy at all. Well, at the beginning stages that is. As humans, we can create a habit and stick to it with ease, after a certain duration by practising that habit time and time again, each day.
“Change might not be fast and it isn’t always easy. But with time and effort, almost any habit can be reshaped.”― Charles Duhigg, The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business
It can take anywhere from 18 to 254 days for a person to form a new habit and an average of 66 days for a new behaviour to become automatic.
Now to take on the question, “How to make Bible reading a habit”
It’s simple, do it every day right? Well as simple as that may be, we as humans always look for the easy way out, you would rather watch something with no effect whatsoever than read the bible each day.
Let’s look at practical ways to get to a place where the habit of reading the word becomes automatic.
● Plan what book of the bible you plan on reading.
Before you take on this habit of reading the bible daily, you need to decide where you will be starting. Now the simple answer is “From the beginning” right? which is an option, one can start from Genius and read throughout to Revelations. But what if in the season you are currently in. You need to know more about Jesus, you want to get to know him better, grow closer to him? Then start in the new testament, read the gospels.
Planning the book you want to start is important.
● Set your reading time.
To say you will read every day but not have a set time to read is setting up for failure. To build consistency one needs to do the activity at that time (or somewhere close to that time) every day. If you are a morning person, have your reading time in the morning at a certain time. If you are a night owl, set up your reading time at the end of the day. But you need to have a set time in place for you to create that consistency.
● Remove distractions
As I mentioned before, there are many things that can distract us from our goals. Because we live in an era where technology is on the rise, it’s becoming so easy to get lost in social media and surfing the web. When you have your reading time, don’t have your phone near you, don’t even have to be in the same room that you are in. Don’t read your bible from your smartphone or computer, that’s looking for trouble. Go old school hardcopy, that way you can make notes etc and not have technology close by.
● Celebrate the small wins.
In the journey to creating this habit, it won’t be a perfect road. Some days you might skip reading due to a meeting, or you woke up late and now you need to rush to work. Or you have just forgotten to read that day. Don’t beat yourself up, this is a slow journey to create consistency. So if you read consistently for 6 days out of the 7. Celebrate that, it’s better than before where you never touched the word for months.
“Small wins are a steady application of a small advantage.”― Charles Duhigg, The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business
● Speak to God
This is the most important tip. Even though we are trying to create a habit by reading the bible. It’s important to speak to God when going through the word. The bible can be confusing but by speaking to God and spending time with HIM in the word, we will have clarity on certain things. For example, imagine talking to the Author of your favourite story, asking Arthur “ why was the main character like this?”, or “why did the story turn out like this?” That particular Arthur will be able to share their deepest creative explanations. Hence why speaking to God each time you read is important. Chat about certain verses, ask for clarity, He wants to provide clarity when we ask.
I pray that this article helps you this week, that your mind will be open to starting this habit and really drawing close to God through it.