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...
This is a guest post by Elizabeth Cravillion. Elizabeth writes to shine a light on the hard places of life on her website elizabethcravillion.com.
2019. An impressive time to live.
We can practically have anything we want. I’m sitting in a Starbucks coffee shop with an Earl Grey latte with almond milk and honey. I drove here in my husband’s Silverado listening to a classic Easton Corbin song in a ball cap and my silver Allbirds. I get to customize all my choices.
2019. Unlike our parents generation, we’re allowed to talk about our feelings and our mental health. Self-care is on trend. We’re bringing dark things into the light. Hashtags create a way for people to share their stories, even if from behind a screen.
You could argue that we are healthier as a society than we’ve been for a long time.
Problem? When we focus on one thing, we fall off balance and let other things slide.
Generation X zoned in on appearances. Studying the Bible with stacks...
Have you ever started a reading plan, and then life gets in the way? Maybe school starts picking up, or work gets crazy. Maybe your kid gets sick and it throws your whole schedule off. Sometimes life just happens. But ultimately I think there is one thing that keeps us from picking back up where we left off and finishing the reading plan - perfectionism.
I tend to have really lofty goals. But whenever something gets in my way, and I miss a day, I tend to beat myself up, and never finish the plan. Where as if I went into the plan knowing that sometimes life happens and I will miss a day, would I beat myself up so bad?
If we know that we probably won’t achieve perfection, maybe we can give ourselves a bit more grace, and simply pick up where we left off.
What if we broke the cycle of falling off the wagon, and started a new cycle of finishing, even if not perfect? I know it would help me with that extra push to keep going, even if I missed a day.
I have read Genesis and Matthew more than any other books in the Bible. Why is that, you ask? Well, they are the first books of the Old and New Testament, and I have started a reading plan to either get through the whole Bible, or the New Testament, and never finished, so I would start back over at the beginning. But you don’t have to get caught in that cycle like I did. There are other options than simply start over when you fall behind on your reading plan. Don’t give up, keep reading!
If you missed a few days, this is a good option. Simply add a chapter, or even a few verses to your reading each day until you catch up to the plan. If you are dead set on finishing your plan in the time it specifies, this will help you get there.
Just skip it. The perfectionist in me has a hard time with this one. But it is doable. If you want to catch up on what you missed, skim the section and see if...
When I became a believer, I was about 9 years old. And after having seen my parents wake up early every morning and read their Bibles, I knew that’s what Believers did. So the very next morning I woke up to read my Bible. I can’t remember where I started, or what I read that day, but I remember the habit didn’t stick then.
I probably tried to get the habit to stick 20-30 more times over the years. I would start, and get in a streak of 2 weeks or so, and then miss a day and it would completely derail my habit. Sometimes I would even get up to a month or two, but I would feel so overwhelmed or bummed out when I would miss several days in a row.
But when I started looking at it not from a streak standpoint (you have to do this every day, or else) and started looking at it from a grace standpoint (you get to do this, and if you miss a day, so what?) my habit started transforming into something I craved doing daily. So here are a couple of tips on how to start and stay...