If you’ve got it on your bucket list to read through the whole Bible, we applaud you. If you do so every year, we’ll even throw in a standing ovation. You’ve got a good thing going. But sometimes, what we all really need is to chew on what we’re reading, to think through exactly what God’s teaching us.
Taking the slow lane isn’t popular in our culture, but without reflection on God’s Word, we may miss some big stuff. So, here are 3 ways to slow down and do just that.
As you make your way through your daily reading or just sit down to finally finish Philippians, take a moment to whip out the ol’ highlighter or pen (or your thumb if you’re reading on your phone). Read through as normal, but when a phrase, verse, or word jumps out at you, mark it. Once you’ve finished, go back and re-read what you’ve marked. See if any themes emerge or if these are things you need to examine in your own life. In fact, you may need to look over these a few times over the course of a week.
Sometimes, slowing down simply means taking a new approach to how you normally read. If you’ve just finished up a challenge to read the whole New Testament, for example, change things up by zooming in on a single book of the Bible for a month. Yes, a month. Read it over and over until you get the flow of it. Try writing out the main ideas of each section. Follow the cross-references to other verses and books. Just take the slow cooker approach instead of the microwave.
One thing that almost always happens in a small group Bible study is that people like to talk about what they’re reading. That forces you to zoom in and examine things from a different perspective. Plus, you’ve got the added benefit that you don’t have to figure everything out on your own. If there’s no group that you know of, why not start one yourself. You don’t need to be a Bible scholar to lead a small group with all the free tools you can find online.
Whatever method you choose, don’t just let your Bible reading be something you buzz through each day. Sometimes, you need to take a deep, slow breath, and absorb God’s Word more deeply.