Bible Study Tips For The Easily Distracted

Bible Study Tips For The Easily Distracted

Bible Study Tips for the Easily DistractedWhat is keeping us from studying our Bibles? Could it be that we 21 century Americans are a teensy-bit distracted?

It’s not just a 21 century problem. Paul saw that the Ephesians were struggling with a similar issue. His words to them apply to us as well:

Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father; and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ. Ephesians 5:15-21

From this passage, we can identify a few distractions that keep us from being filled with the Spirit, along with ways to overcome them:

1. Time- and space- challenged: My husband says I’m directionally challenged. Well I am also time-challenged and space-challenged. Paul says be careful how you walk, making the most of your time. How long do you walk, or linger, on a path of pointlessness? For me, I used to linger on social media… definitely not making the most of my time.

Scrolling on my phone, zoning out to Netflix, even getting over-zealous to clean the house sometimes distracts me from reading my Bible. Its extra easy when my phone is nearby.

Remedy: lets expose our “lingering spots” and stay away from them while studying scripture.

2. Pity the Fool: Our own opinions can be huge distractions as well. Paul reminds us to “not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.”

I think for many of us, our own will distracts us. We read Scripture and immediately form an opinion about it. We decide whether we like it or don’t like it. If we like it, we keep reading. If we don’t like it, we skip to a different chapter or verse that feels more comfy.

Our will is a distraction that eventually leads to foolishness.

RemedyLet us echo Jesus’ prayer before studying Scripture: “not my will, but yours be done.” Luke 22:42

Also, try memorizing Proverbs 1:7: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; Fools despise wisdom and instruction.”

3. Over-Consumed: Most of us live in a consumer-culture. It is natural to take in everything life has to offer, but it is not always helpful. Though we may not be getting “drunk with wine,” we are consuming something. Whatever that thing is, could it be taking the place of God’s Word? Are we feasting so much on the world that we have no room to be filled with the filled with the Spirit? 

RemedyLets take a break from the things that consume us? This might look like “fasting” from TV, certain hobbies, books, social media, or food. By not filling up on these things, we will have room to fill up on the Word of God. Our minds will not be so distracted; rather, we will be hungry for a filling.

4. Lack of Stillness: Often we are distracted because we just haven’t prepared our heart or mind. We think we can rush from a work-out, getting ready for the day, and checking our emails into a posture of quiet stillness before the Lord.

Paul knows how music helps our brains to focus on a concept. Our church gatherings get it too. We sing songs before a sermon to help prepare and focus our minds to receive teaching from God’s Word. In a hurried society, making melodies is an active way to quiet a busy mind and focus on God.

Remedy: Make a worship playlist and play it regularly before studying the Bible. (Have a helpful worship song? Share it with us in a comment below).

5. Bitter heart: Do you carry ungratefulness or bitterness in your heart? I know that my bitterness always distracts me from a fruitful study time in the Bible.

Remedy: Pauls says to always give thanks! Lets start our Bible study with a heart of gratefulness. Write a list of 5 things you are thankful of God for. We also need to remember to extend forgiveness quickly so as not to be distracted by the Devil’s schemes (more on this in 2 Corinthians 2:10-11).

6. Going Solo: I tend to get distracted just by my own wandering thoughts. Now that I am a mom, I have 3 beautiful small balls of energy and questions to add to that distraction.

In the end, if we are pursuing a deeper relationship with God, longing to be filled with the Spirit through the study of God’s Word, maybe we need a buddy. Paul reminds us to gather with other Christians, encourage them and be encouraged by them. His commendation, to submit to each other, reminds us of our need for accountability.

RemedySome of my favorite times in God’s Word has been sitting quietly next to my husband or a dear sister in Christ. Meet a friend at a coffee shop, or schedule a time with your spouse or roommate to study God’s word together. Remind your companion that you aren’t necessarily meeting to focus on each other, but to be a presence of accountability to stay focused on God. After a set amount of time, ask each other what God is speaking through His Word.

Still not focused? If you still feel unable to engage in God’s Word, perhaps you are struggling with a different issue. Press the “Follow” button to get updates on more topics for the Bible Study Struggle.


About the Author:

“We write to taste life twice…”- Anais Nin. I believe in the power of clearly communicated truth. I write and speak to rediscover my own relationship with Jesus and to spark a bit of enthusiasm in others for their own journey with Jesus. Thanks for dropping by and picking up some renewed excitement for yourself!


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  4. […] 4. Easily-Distracted: “my weakness is doing *anything* consistently. Daily habits work for 2……maybe 3 weeks (including bible) and then I forget about it for months, and then i read it again.” * […]

  5. Tricia October 15, 2013 at 6:57 pm - Reply

    I don’t see anything about what to do when the kids or husbands won’t leave you alone for more than 5 minutes? Remedy: Lock yourself or them into a closet?

    • Becky October 16, 2013 at 9:25 am - Reply

      Lock yourself in a closet…. I love it! Sounds Biblical too (Matt 6:6). How many of use catch up on a daily verse while in the bathroom?

      I know how you feel though. I blew up at my husband just the other day for being a distraction. In hindsight, I wish I would have simply asked Him to join me. He would have loved it! I hope that someday I can sit down with my children and husband in the quiet of the morning or evening and read the Bible together, pray for each other, and share candidly what the Holy Spirit is teaching us. Ideal thinking for a not-yet-mama? Hey a girl can dream right 😉

  6. Holly January 8, 2014 at 7:08 am - Reply

    I love this article! I have always went to church and been Christian, but now I’m trying to read, memorize, and learn more from the scripture.

  7. Victoria September 27, 2014 at 6:52 am - Reply

    Great tips! However, number 5 should reference 2Corinthians 2:10-11, not 1Corinthians.

  8. Michelle October 24, 2014 at 8:27 am - Reply

    My go-to song: Jaci Velasquez “On my knees”. Makes me tear up every time. 🙂

  9. asha1974 June 16, 2015 at 2:37 am - Reply

    I actually have ADHD and have done no. 4 for some time now as part of my routine. I have a worship playlist on youtube and it’s my first stop in the morning as soon as I wake up I use the time to pray and read scripture. I am careful to not make it a ‘religious’ act. Like losing points if I don’t do it, so if I miss it, its not a big deal, but I’ve found I NEED it. I do it because I just find it helps my day flow better.

    • Becky June 16, 2015 at 3:41 am - Reply

      Thanks for sharing how God has given you focus and direction in the mornings!

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