“I’m Not a Reader…”
I’ve heard it a lot – “I’m not a reader.” I get that. For many “reading” is a sentence worse than death. But…our Christian faith is one where God has revealed himself to us in His Word, the Bible. There are the common means of growth – Godly relationships with other believers in a local church body and prayer – but God’s Word is where he has literally told us who He is and how we are supposed to relate to Him, and the world around us for His glory. We need to know what it says, and since countless high school students have disproved the osmosis theory of obtaining knowledge from books, we need to actually open a page and read the words contained therein with our eyeballs.
But it doesn’t have to be as hard as it seems. What to read? First and foremost, read the Bible. Read all the Bible. Pick a reading plan on your phone or get one from the web and take time each day to read the Bible. Pray before reading it that God would reveal himself to you through His Holy Spirit. Pray that God would point out those areas that you need to change and pray for courage to change them.
In addition to the Bible (not in place of…) there are many helpful books out there to encourage and challenge you on your spiritual journey. Check with a Pastor or an Elder to get some ideas. There are even some reading plans that can keep you accountable and spread out your reading over several different genres.
So now that we settled on ‘what’ to read…let’s talk about ‘how.’ Here are some basic starter ideas for you.
- Get up early. I understand that “getting up early” is right behind “reading” as fates worse than death, but let’s face it – we are all way too busy. And our days are consumed with mostly reacting. Start your day by proactively filling your mind with God’s word and good books. Even if you gave yourself 30 mins in the morning it will make a world of difference.
- No distractions. No phone. No FaceBook, Twitter, or email. Find a quiet place. Just you, a Bible and any other books, and a nice hot beverage of your choice.
- Read actively. Have a pencil in your hand and underline, write notes in the margin, make giant asterisks, exclamation points, etc. Interact with what you are reading. Once you are done you can post a witty quote to Twitter (give credit though…), or talk to someone else about what you read.
- Set realistic goals. Follow an achievable Bible reading plan. Read 10 pages of another book a day. That should take about 30 minutes. Funny thing – as you go along – you might find you are extending your time. So…get up even earlier! 🙂
“I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.”
(Psalms 119:11 ESV)