If you’re looking for a New Year’s Resolution, it’s not too late! Or, if you decided to grow spiritually this year, I have a tool to help!
I should say, I’m definitely a believer that it’s never too late to grow. Even if you’re reading this in November, it’s still a year from next November, so why wait until January? What’s so special about that month? I’m not really a fan of New Year’s Resolutions because I really think we should be making consistent goals, especially spiritually, throughout the year. One for the year is unreasonable, and not really enough. But I think resolving to read through the Bible is one of those exceptionally reasonable goals that can easily be achieved, and that you can benefit from throughout the year. And what else could you resolve to do that could be of such eternal value to you and most likely change your earthly life as you know it?
Many people I know have recommended the YouVersion Bible App, specifically the component for reading the Bible in a year. It gives you a plan for a section from both the Old and New Testament each day, and keeps track of your progress. It will even link you up with a friend for accountability. And it’s free!
If you don’t have a smart phone, you can easily track down a reading guide online. Here are a few:
If the thought of reading the whole Bible overwhelms you, I recommend starting smaller, instead of not starting at all. Try reading just the New Testament — it’s the size (and probably shorter) than any “normal” book you’d read, and much of it is stories, so it will hold your attention if you’re not accustomed to reading the Bible.
And to be honest, you don’t really need a special plan. You can just read a section, chapter, story, or whatever each day. I did a yearly Bible reading plan once, and I personally wasn’t a huge fan, though it was a neat experience. The reason I didn’t love it was that I felt it was a lot each day, and really rushed me. So I didn’t get to really think about what I was reading. Later, I decided to read through the Bible again at my own pace (the Christian life is a marathon, not a sprint, after all)… it took me almost two years exactly, and I loved it!
If you don’t have a Bible of your own yet, you can read it free here: http://www.esvbible.org/
You can download the ESV Bible app for free, also.
And I just want to say, the Bible was written for real, normal people, so you should’ve feel that you need a special commentary, person, or other book to explain everything for you. While you may have questions here and there (especially in the Old Testament), you will be surprised at how easy it is to read and understand. If you really find it a challenge (even in the most basic things, like the Christmas story), check the translation — the King James Version, while just as great, was written in more of an “Old English” that you may not be used to hearing. You might find it better to read an equally as accurate translation in current English (such as the English Standard Version, or the New American Standard Version).
Urbana has a good page with additional guidance about reading the Bible here. But don’t be afraid to just dive in!
If you’ve already read through the Bible, and/or are consistent in your personal Bible reading, below are some other suggestions of resolutions for Christian growth. I recommend expanding these be using goals that are measurable (i.e. How will you grow in that?).
- Grow in your prayer life. (Blog post to come — for now, maybe start with 30 minutes a day.)
- Grow as a wife. (A good resource list is here.)
- Choose a character trait, like servanthood, kindness, or patience.
Please Share: What’s your New Year’s (or New Month’s) Resolution?