If you work out in the gym, you need to mix things up. We need to work different muscle groups, build strength and cardio, create some muscle confusion, and progress in difficulty.
If you read the Bible, you also need to mix things up. We need to read fast and slow, go deep and go wide, and vary our approaches.
Here are some ideas on how to reinvigorate your Bible reading.
Vary Your Speed
I usually read the Bible every year. A couple of years ago I picked a two-year plan, and it changed everything. I was able to linger a lot longer and meditate on passages, noticing more details than usual for me.
Mix things up. Whatever your normal pace, pick a radically different pace once in a while. Pick an aggressive plan that gets you through the Bible quickly, or slow down and spend a whole year in a book. Learn to vary your speed.
Pick a Different Order
For years I’ve read the Bible from front to back. Lately I’ve been reading a chronological Bible. It helps me understand the sequence of events a lot more, putting the pieces of historical events together.
Different Bible reading plans have different strengths. Some include a portion of the Old Testament and the New Testament each day. Some include a psalm or a section of the Proverbs. Pick a plan that you haven’t used before to add some variety to your Bible reading.
Listen and Read
If you’re used to reading the Bible, try listening to it. If you’re used to listening to the Bible, try reading it. Next year, for instance, I plan on listening to the entire Bible using the Dwell app. Listening and reading tend to activate different ways of learning.
Find an app. Get a new study Bible. Check out the Bible Project videos. Buy a reader’s Bible that doesn’t have verses. We have more tools to help us read the Bible than ever before. Pick a new one, and see if it works for you.
Read Alone and Together
Read the Bible alone, but occasionally read the Bible with others. Ask them for their insights, and share your insights with them.
Few practices in the Christian life matter more than Bible reading. Our goal should be to become the kind of person mentioned in Psalm 1:
Blessed is the man
who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
but his delight is in the law of the LORD,
and on his law he meditates day and night.
The deeper we go in the Bible, the more we make connections, seeing things we hadn’t seen before. Reading the Bible begins to shape how we think, rewiring our responses and shaping our worldviews. It’s the work of a lifetime, and yet it will sometimes become challenging and stale.
So look for ways to reinvigorate your Bible reading. The payoff will be great, not just for you but for others around you.