I have got a confession to make. The book of the Bible that I have read the most, hands down is Genesis. You want to know why? Because I would start a Bible reading plan, miss 3 weeks on accident (you know this happens) and then feel the need to start all the way over at the beginning each time when picking it back up. So Genesis has been read through a handful of times just because of this!
What do you do when you fall behind on your reading plan? Do you give up or start over? Do you pick up where you left off?
Let’s talk about a few options you have when you get behind.
First, don't stress about it. There is no set plan you HAVE to stick to when reading the Bible, and there are no points off for missing a day. Nowhere in the Bible does it say you have to read the whole thing in a year, so set that expectation aside, and evaluate. Is the plan you are going through too fast? Pick a slower plan. Do you need someone to ask you about it regularly to hold you accountable? Call a friend. Figure out why you are falling behind, and come up with a solution.
After you have evaluated, you might realize that your plan is perfect for you, but life got busy and you simply missed a few days. Then just pick up where you left off. Like I mentioned earlier, no one said you have to finish in a year. Simply take it at your own pace, and keep going! You CAN do this! I promise.
If you are reading with a group, your best option might be to skip (or skim) what you missed and start back with the current day. This is a great way to keep the accountability from the group and build that habit to slow down the missed days in the future.
Then of course sometimes the missed day turns into a week, turns into a month, and possibly turns into longer than that. Life happens. Don't let it keep you from reading your Bible, but instead pick a new plan (or start the same one again). The important thing is that you are reading your Bible!
Here are a few tips for staying on track.
Read with someone. Whether that be a friend, a group from your church, or an online accountability group, having someone to talk about what you are reading with is a great way to make sure you stay on track!
Read at the same time and place each day. This isn’t always possible, and things can get in the way of that, but as much as you can, try to be consistent. This helps make it a habit. If you notice that things are regularly getting in the way, try to move that time or place to make it more distraction-free.
Get a Bible translation you can understand. If you are slugging through an older translation that is hard to understand, try the NLT or NIV for a change. Sometimes a change in translation will lighten the reading up a bit and help you look forward to your time in the Bible.