If You Do Only One Thing

Why aren’t more of us reading the Bible?

Lori Futcher
If You Do Only One Thing

What if there was one thing you could do that would increase your likelihood of witnessing by 228 percent? But wait, there’s more! This one behavior makes you 407 percent more likely to memorize scriptures and 30 percent less likely to struggle with loneliness.

OK, I may be starting to sound like an infomercial, but I promise this one thing will change your life more than any product you could buy. That one thing, according to a study done by the Center for Bible Engagement, is reading your Bible four or more times per week.

Now, this shouldn’t be terribly difficult, as Bibles aren’t exactly hard to come by. Nine out of 10 Americans own this best-selling book, and in fact, the average American household has four Bibles. But the truth is, only one out of four American Christians read the Bible regularly.

Why aren’t more of us reading the Bible? The number-one reason is being too busy. Other reasons include heart issues (such as discouragement or feelings of guilt), not recognizing the need, lack of accountability, not knowing where to start, and difficulty understanding the Bible.

If you fall into any of these categories, these ideas can help get you started:

Try listening: Audio recordings are easy to find; many are even free. You can listen to the Bible while driving or cooking or going about your day. If you’re an auditory learner, you may even find you comprehend the Bible better this way.

Match your reading with your life: Look for verses that will help you fight the battles you are personally facing. Christian bookstores often have books that will divide Bible verses into categories of felt needs. I have also found it effective to do an Internet search for “Bible verses about ____________.” 

Get uncomfortable: If you agree with the survey respondents who said, “I know enough and don’t need it anymore,” or “Not doing so won’t affect my life,” it may be time for a wake-up call. Study how much Jesus relied on God during His earthly life and contrast that with where the Pharisees’ spiritual pride led them.

Talk about it: As a young adult getting into the habit of daily devotions, I decided to share what I’d learned each day on an Internet forum. This helped me not only read but focus! These days I have friends that I talk with about what we’ve been reading. Having someone you can talk with not only gives you accountability but can also help when you need help understanding something.

Find a plan: Much like Bibles themselves, Bible plans are readily available. Many of them are targeted to people with different life experiences. Do an Internet search to find Bible plans for couples, or beginners, or even for those with anxiety.

As with anything, forming the habit is the hardest part. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t see drastic changes immediately. You may not read life-changing verses every day, but by committing to spend this time listening to God through His Word, you’re strengthening your connection with Him. You may not immediately perceive the changes that are happening, but trust they are happening. Keep it up, and one day you may find yourself faced with an opportunity to witness and realize that what you’ve been reading prepared you for that moment.

Lori Futcher

Lori Futcher ([email protected]) is working on her M.F.A. in creative nonfiction and does freelance writing and voiceover work from her home in Nampa, Idaho.