Christian Living

Spiritual Life

How to Get the Most out of Your Bible Study

Maybe it’s culture. Maybe it’s genetics. Or, maybe it’s just me. Nonetheless, I am plagued by an inability to concentrate on my Bible study reading for more than five minutes without thoughts of tomorrow’s clothing choice, what I’d like to be munching on, the grout in my bathtub, or just about any other topic (regardless of relevance) one could think of. Oh, and these are usually alternating, fleeting thoughts, resonating back and forth in my brain, peppered with an occasional thought of my Bible study.

Yes, I am what they call “distractible”. And yes, it can be a challenge. However, along the way (and with a whole lot of prayer) I have come up with some ways to combat the frustration and feelings of inadequacy associated with this trait.

  1. Partner up. Use the tried and true method of having an accountability partner. Pick someone who will not only encourage you, but do it with you, and someone who will be willing to call you out if needed.
  2. Journal it. At first it can feel a little like school, so it’s important to find a journal that doesn’t remind you of an old notebook from junior high. Choose one you like. Barnes and Noble has a great selection, as does Target. I typically bullet point my prayers and that organization helps keep me focused. One of my friends divides up her journal into topics (i.e. her husband, church ministry, her job, etc.) and goes through each section everyday.
  3. Couple it. Whether it’s a steaming cup of coffee, that cozy chair by the window, or your afghan from Grandma, associating Bible study time with another favorite activity can help an unfocused mind.
  4. Lose the media. It sounds obvious, but the ringing of a cell phone (and especially the curiosity of who might be calling), can lead to many minutes of distraction. Turn it off. The television can also be a distraction, even if it isn’t on. I’ve found that if I’m trying to do my study right before the start of my favorite tv show, I don’t get as much out of it.
  5. Pick a time. Not everyone is a morning person, but I find it the easiest time to be consistent because first, it is the same time everyday, and second, I find when I start my day with God, it’s much easier to keep Him at the forefront throughout the day.
  6. Have a plan. Although it sounds spontaneous and fun, the “open-the-Book-and-point” method doesn’t always yield the best results. Try reading through one book of the Bible at a time, or go through a topical study.


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