The first mistake that I made when I began to read the Bible in one year is to think I could actually finish it in one year. My focus began to be on getting my daily reading assignment done instead of actually taking it in and appreciating the Word of God. When I didn’t get in my daily Bible reading I would chastise myself and feel bad that I didn’t do it. I realized quickly that if I wanted to read the Bible through I had to 1) Give myself grace for missed days and 2) Embrace the fact it wouldn’t be read in one year.
We talk about God’s grace all the time. It is a foundation of our faith: that we who deserve death, by God’s grace, have life through His son Jesus Christ. Why is it I don’t extend grace to myself? Yes, I will mess up and not ready my daily Bible passages. I may sleep in, get sick, or get distracted. I must give myself grace and forgive myself when I don’t read my Bible passages and pick it back up the next morning, each new day is a fresh beginning. The key is to keep reading and not allow missed days to deter me from making my goal. For what is my goal? Read the Bible in a year or simply read the Bible through? Reading the Bible through is more important than the time it takes me to do it in.
Once I made peace with the fact I wouldn’t make it through in a year, I’ve been fairly regular about reading the daily selections. I tend to miss Sunday mornings as I like to give myself a day of rest from the alarm clock that morning. Sometimes I double up my reading assignment, read two days worth in one sitting, but it takes twice the time and I don’t do it during work days as I would rush through my reading to get ready for work. In February 2020, I made it to the half-way point in the reading plan. It took me 8 months to read through the first half of the plan.
Now that I’m about half-way through I am thankful that I chose to keep at it. It is allowing me to see and appreciate the character of God in a way I never have before. It’s my first time reading through some of the Old Testimate books and I finally understand why the Psalms praise God’s steadfast love so often. He showed the Israelites again and again (and again!) His steadfast love even when they kept sinning and worshiping idols. It makes me appreciate why Jesus had to come and understand the full capacity of the love and grace that He showed us in His death and resurrection.
Go ahead and read the Bible in “a year” but take enough time to take the Word in. Don’t fall into a “checklist” mentality like I did: reading the daily scriptures only for the satisfaction of crossing it off the list. Read it slowly and digest the Word as it is the bread of life. Read it at a pace that suits you: don’t read so fast you miss what the Word is saying or read so carefully that all effort is in study. Read to understand what the Bible is saying and pray the Lord reveals Himself to you as you read. The goal is to read the Bible through and not to read it through in a year.