God designed us to be “constantly nourished on the words of the faith and of the sound doctrine.” (1 Timothy 4:6)
Unfortunately, a prominent reason we don’t read our Bibles is laziness.
Studying the Bible is like exercising. It is exceptionally good for our health, but it often requires more motivation than we are willing to rally.
“for bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. It is a trustworthy statement deserving full acceptance. For it is for this we labor and strive, because we have fixed our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of believers.” 1 Tim 4:8-10
Perhaps some good advice about physical exercise will boost our motivation for studying God’s Word? Here are 5 ideas:
1. Take a lesson from Nike: Just do it.
2. Be Accountable: Think about “hiring” a personal trainer. Recruit someone to ask you the hard questions: “did you spend time in God’s Word this week? How did you apply it to your life?”
Knowing these questions are coming can be a helpful reminder to make time for God. Your accountability partner also might be able to help you through the difficult parts of Scripture (like a trainer helps you learn the weight machines at the gym).
3. Make it Social: Grab a friend to “exercise” with and engage in Scripture together. Or join a “Scripture work-out class” (Sunday school or Bible study).
4. Habits never die: An active life starts by forming healthy habits; eventually it becomes second nature. Studying your Bible is the same way. It only takes 21 days to form a habit, they say. Stick with it!
5. Prep for a Lesson: My friend is naturally fit, so she rarely works out. Interestingly, she applied for a job as a work-out instructor at the gym where she works. She had to attend lots of classes to learn the moves to teach when she became an instructor.
I avoid reading Scripture when I’m feeling “naturally healthy” in my spiritual walk. It is a sneaky form of laziness.
But when I am leading Bible studies or teaching Sunday school, I am compelled to engage in Scripture to prepare well. I study, not just to learn for myself, but to help teach others.
If you are a parent, big brother or big sister, friend, mentor, or peer… you have someone to teach! Study for them (see Titus 2 for more).
Still not “getting there?” If you still feel unmotivated, perhaps you are struggling with a different issue. It might be more likely that you have a distraction issue, an unprepared heart, or shuffled list of priorities.
But if you truly have a motivation problem, you will probably just go back to Facebook scrolling. Sorry to be harsh (I’m preaching to the choir here), but even pinning this helpful tip to Pinterest won’t help you actually get in the Word. We need to get off our lazy butts, repent, and get back into the Word of God.*
If lack of motivation isn’t the issue, I hope this link will help you move forward in discovering the Bible for yourself.
*Please remember, no matter how much you study the Bible, you will never grow more “lovable” or “righteous” in God’s eyes. If you are a Christian, you have received the righteousness of Christ. In short, you get Jesus’ resume. He already measured up to a thorough study of the Scriptures (He wrote them). Your studying will increase your understanding of God, and grow in your love for Him, but you must remember that HIS love for you is already fixed in Christ.
Studying His Word is the best way to remember that, and a good way to share it with others.