Distraction while studying the Bible is a real stumbling block for many people. Technology, worries, and events all seem to work against us digging into Scripture. So, how can we overcome the noise (and wandering minds)? Here are some general principles that can help.
1) If possible, set aside a time to read. This helps your mind know that a particular time is for nothing but God's Word. There's something about having an appointment that helps many people keep the right perspective.
2) Give yourself a buffer between work or anything stressful and your reading time. This will help get your mind off the troubles of the day. (Many of us here like to read first thing in the morning so that we're not as distracted by other issues.)
3) Remove as many distractions as you can. While we love online Bibles, as you might guess, if your phone or computer is a distraction, use a traditional Bible and turn those things off (you can also print verses from our site if need be). It's easy to wonder what updates or emails you're getting, and when your phone is right there, the temptation can be too much. If you prefer studying on your phone, turn on the "Do Not Disturb" mode and cut off notifications. That will help keep your eyes on the prize.
4) Pray before you read. Just ask God to help you focus and understand what you're reading. You'd be amazed how this can get our minds and hearts in the right place.
5) Write notes, thoughts, and prayers as you read. If you're reading with the purpose of taking notes, you're more likely to focus. Try My Bible to keep those notes and thoughts on our site.
In addition, there are some other steps you could try if you need a little extra help:
We're a couple weeks into Bible reading plans for this year. So, how are you doing? If you've already fallen behind a bit, don't worry. You can get back on track.
First, don't feel guilty. The Bible is a gift to us, and reading any of it is good. Even if you're not keeping pace, you're still getting into the Word. Once you start feeling guilty about falling behind, you're much more likely to just stop reading. Keep going with whatever you can get in each day. It's time well spent.
Reschedule all you want. Our site lets you change the start date of your plan. Plus, you can see all the daily readings for the entire duration. Make adjustments as you need.
Get daily readings delivered to your inbox. If you sometimes forget to come to the site to read, we can deliver daily readings right to your inbox in one of four versions of the Bible. Sign up on our newsletter page.
Consider changing plans. If you picked something that's a bit too ambitious for this year, go with something a bit shorter. Just click that you're finished with the plan and start a new one, such as reading through the New Testament.
Read along with us. On our Facebook page, we're reading through the Bible together this year. Join us as often as you can.
Whatever you do, don't worry about "falling behind." Just read as you can.
Who runs BibleStudyTools.com? What do we believe? And how do we pick what's included on the site?
BibleStudyTools.com is a part of the Salem Web Network, a for-profit company that manages a number of Christian websites. Some that you may know are Crosswalk.com, OnePlace.com, Christianity.com, and Jesus.org. That means we're not owned or operated by a particular church, ministry, or denomination. However, we are committed to the historic tenets of the apostles' creed. Those of us who work here come from a variety of backgrounds, but all of us are committed to sharing the gospel and the truth of Scripture. (We're Bible geeks who love what we do.)
As for the study materials, we are very careful about what we chose to feature on the site. The reference materials are on here because they are faithful to the Bible and have stood the test of time (John Gill and Matthew Henry, for example) or because they are relevant to historical studies (e.g., Josephus). Newer material comes from biblically faithful publishers who agree to let us post content or trusted Christian writers and bloggers who agree to let us repost their articles on our site. Rest assured, however, that each article or post is carefully reviewed.
We're certainly not perfect. But our goal is to carefully and faithfully help people around the world study God's Word.
Those of us at BibleStudyTools.com love New Year's. During this time, many Christians consider their life plans and what changes they'd like to make. And while we can't do much to help you with weight or exercise goals, we can help you with your renewed focus on God's Word.
Here's how we can help you make it through the Bible this year:
Whatever your goals, make BibleStudyTools.com a part of your daily reading, and we'll do our best to keep you going.
Inside BST goes behind the curtain of BibleStudyTools.com and into the minds of our editors and developers. You'll discover encouraging stories, information about the site, links that interest us, and devotionals.
John UpChurch, Senior Editor (BibleStudyTools.com)
Alex Crain, Managing Editor (Christianity.com)
Stephen McGarvey, Senior Director of Editorial
Stephen Sanders, A/V Editor