What’s the best way to read the Bible? Many people think it’s something like getting up real early every day and intensely reading the entire Bible every year. And if you can’t pull that off, well…you’re a spiritual weakling and you better stick with Our Daily Bread.

But is the pre-dawn snow plow routine really the best way for everyone to engage with God’s Word? Sure, it’s a good method, if you can keep it up. But what if you can’t? What if you aren’t a morning person? Or what if you’re new to the Bible? Or what if reading is difficult for you?

I’ve been giving a lot of thought to a concept I call “devotional temperament.” It’s a combination of your level of Bible understanding, your unique learning style and the needs and concerns in your life at any given time. It seems to me that the best Bible reading method for you would be one that takes all those perspectives into account. My concern is that as Christians we inadvertently emphasize a Bible reading method that is at odds with the unique way God has wired many of us. No wonder so many people struggle to maintain a regular Bible reading habit.

In future posts, I want to share more of what I’m thinking on this topic. In fact, if you have some ideas, I’d love for you to share them in response to this post. But for now, I simply want to say this: don’t feel guilty if you aren’t a Bible marathoner. Instead, just take 5 minutes today to engage with the Bible in a way that seems most satisfying to you—reading, listening, even singing. Then thank God for speaking to you.

Your Devotional Temperament

7 thoughts on “Your Devotional Temperament

  • May 30, 2009 at 2:23 pm
    Permalink

    I appreciate this blog entry, thank you. It is difficult to have the percepttion of a morning quiet time of Bible reading being best, and not be able to achieve that.

    Reply
  • June 16, 2009 at 7:35 pm
    Permalink

    Thank you for following my blog. I'm glad I took a look at your page, especially this article. I have never been good at reading the Bible. I do have several kids Bible story books that I read to my children, but I think that's the most “explanation” I've received on the Bible besides church (I'm Lutheran) and a daily “interpretation” book I bought. Actually I bought it as a gift for my mother who was going through a hard time but she was “mad at God” for taking her son and wouldn't accept it. That was very hard on me but I pray for her that she will come to God again. I think I might subscribe to the Discovery emails that you have advertised on your page 🙂 Thank you!

    Reply
  • June 30, 2009 at 2:32 pm
    Permalink

    I agree. My daughter is a teacher and specializes in reaching “at risk” students. There are many learning (teaching) styles to be considered for each class and in each student. God made each of us different and reaches out to us in our particular learning style or devotional temperment. As a young Mother, I struggled with the early morning concept. Nap time was when I could sit, read, think. Now as a retired Granny, morning is the perfect time. In your face commitments such as hungry children have to be considered also. The important thing in Bible reading is to do it regularly. I personally love Encounter With God as a guide.

    Reply
  • August 25, 2009 at 4:18 pm
    Permalink

    I have recently been reintroduced to “Encounter with God”. I deal with an impatient temperment and am often made aware of my extreme need of the power of the Holy Spirit in my life. At the age of 68 I too find early morning a good time to be alone with God. Especially when there is no one visiting in my home. The point I am trying to get to is that when “I make that CHOICE to be with God,” He changes me and brings PEACE, JOY, SPIRITUAL CONFIDENCE inside my heart and I am usable. I know that I am in HIS POWER, not mine! What a relief!

    Reply
  • February 2, 2010 at 6:59 pm
    Permalink

    I too had an issue with Leviticus until I read an article showing how the info therein can prove history and the lineage of Christ.
    When I reach Leviticus I read out of devotion to God and a renewed interest in the history of the Bible demographics. In any case, reading incorrectly, superficially or any other negative comments – it is better than not reading at all. If you are in the presence of God (or shadow of His Presence) you are more likely to hear of see Him than otherwise. You may need helps in fully understanding what you read but always include in those directory The Holy Spirit- He has and continues to help me and others.

    Judith

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *