To make this admission would seem self-indicting; like saying "I've stopped loving God". I felt treacherous admitting that my bible study had stuttered into the bore-zone in the past and I've had to make changes to rekindle the passion and get out of my rut.
So if you find yourself in the same situation and one of your resolutions is to improve your bible study life in 2017, this one's for you.
5 Ways to Get out of a bible study rut
- Change reading format. If you're used to reading the bible on an electronic device, switch to a physical bible or vice versa. The change in reading format analog-digital may be all the stimulus your brain needs to be re-interested in the process
- Change versions/translations: I've been team NKJV for the last 2 decades but recently switched to reading NLT (New Living Translation) and HCSB (Holman Christian Standard Bible) versions. Reading my favorite passages written with different words sometimes reveals delightfully new insights. If you're not sure which bible translation will sit well with you, you can start by doing a few side-by-side comparisons. This website helps with that.
- Try a new form of bible interaction: Do you underline favorite bible verses, why not highlight them instead. Or consider bible journaling. What's that? Check the Instagram #biblejournaling for a few examples. It took a while for me to embrace the idea of drawing in my bible but once I did, I bought the ESV Journaling Bible, Writer's Edition and it's been a fun ride ever since. Drawer I am not but writer I can be.
- Try a new devotional author or reading plan: If you use a daily devotional, switch things around. The YouVersion Bible App has a varied library of reading plans for all interests. I've used several of the reading plans and recently went back to the devotional I used in my early twenties - Our Daily Bread.
- Change bible study companions: Do you read alone all the time? Why not join a small bible study group in your church. Meeting with the same group of people all the time? Why not join the group in a different church (that shares your core beliefs) and see if fresh friends and discussions wouldn't spice things up for you
In 2016 I tried all of the above and have been significantly pulled out of my rut.
Do you think any of these will help you?
- Bible app with multiple translations in different languages and reading plans
- Website to compare bible translations side by side
- My Writer's edition bible. This may not be your favorite option. When it comes to journaling bibles, I do recommend looking around to see what's available online and in-stores (more variety is available online for sure) before making a choice. If I had been patient enough to wait for some of the newer journaling bibles to be released later this year, I wouldn't have bought the one I own currently but ah... impatience!
- Pens I use for writing in my bible. I switched to these from regular ball point ink and I have less bleeding into the next page plus it's archival ink which is designed to be non-fading. They're also available in craft stores like Michaels which gave me a good opportunity to see how they write. However, the price in my local Michaels was double the price on Amazon so unless you have a coupon to use in store, online is the cheaper way to go.
- Recommended highlighters for bible marking. I'm still looking for these in stores around me. All the ones listed on Amazon Canada are shipped from the US and I'd rather not pay an inflated price plus shipping.
- The devotional I've used on and off for 20+ years. They also have an iPhone app which is what I use daily.