It happens to all of us sometimes: we find reading the Bible to be a chore. The words are flat on the page. There’s no amazing insight coming to us. It’s a struggle to even pick up our Bibles at all some days. We’re so far behind on our reading plans that you feel like it would be better to pick up where you left off in February of next year.
I get this—it really does happen to everyone. But it doesn’t have to be where we stay. When we find ourselves stuck, it’s a sign that we need a refresh. To start over in a way that encourages us to want to read. Here are three things to try to help refresh your reading experience.
Try a new (to you) translation
I know we’re all conditioned to align with different brands and be exclusive in our Bible translations, but here me out. Sometimes the best thing we can do when we’re in a rut is try a different version. If you’re a CSB reader who has never read the NKJV before, for example, give that a shot. If you primarily read the ESV, maybe try the NET. (You get the idea.)
Reading from a different translation helps us see the Scriptures anew. Familiar passages may seem a little fresher. New questions may emerge as you read. A verse or chapter will hit you a little differently. All of this is good, and can inspire you to keep going.
Focus on one book of the Bible
Whenever I’m at a loss for what to read, or when I’m feeling stuck, I turn to the Psalms. Reading the prayers and songs of God’s people helps me see the human and communal side of our relationship with God. When I don’t know what to pray, I can join with them. If I need to be reminded of the greatness of God, their praise becomes mine.
Maybe it’s not the Psalms that you need. Perhaps it’s Hebrews, one of the Gospels, or even Obadiah. Don’t worry about reading plans. Just read. And whatever book you choose, keep reading it until you’ve mastered it (or rather, you’ve been mastered by it).
Try a focused reading plan
Sometimes the biggest issue when we hit a rut is not knowing where to start. A reading plan gives a framework to focus your time in God’s Word. Whether you use a plan to help you explore a major theme or topic across Scripture, one that helps you explore different books, chronological plans, or any other number of options, these can be a powerful way to help you strengthen and refresh your Bible reading.