Usually around this time of year, I conveniently start to forget my New Year’s resolutions.
My January enthusiasm has significantly waned—and soon Valentine’s Day candy will be on sale, and that will be impossible to resist. (I’m a sucker for those cherry-filled Hershey’s kisses.)
Plus, at least in the Midwest, February is the bleakest of months. It’s gloomy, overcast, and dreary. Motivation to do anything except sleep is at an all-time low.
And on those cold mornings, when your alarm goes off before the sun is up and you’re snuggled under your down comforter, you press snooze. And you press snooze again. As you roll over, cocooning yourself in your blanket, you think, “I’ll do my Bible reading tonight after school/work/the kids go to bed.”
And then suddenly it’s tonight, and you’re exhausted. You eat dinner, wash the dishes, and sit down on the couch “for just a second.” Next thing you know, you wake up at 11 p.m., having passed out the minute you sat down.
Staying motivated can be tough, especially when you feel spiritually empty. In seasons when your faith feels like a smoldering ember rather than a fully stoked bonfire (can you tell I’m cold?), you can feel indifferent about your personal Bible study time.
When you don’t feel inspired to read God’s Word, you’re more likely to forego your study in exchange for other things that temporarily give you joy—like scrolling through Facebook, bingeing some new Netflix show, or sleeping an extra 15 minutes.
But, thankfully, our feelings don’t affect God’s working in us. If our salvation rested on how we felt, we’d be in trouble—because more often than not, we’re unmotivated, lazy, and apathetic. So we can rejoice that even at our lowest, we still receive grace!
But that doesn’t solve the problem of feeling unmotivated. How can you stay motivated to read your Bible when, in your sinful state, that’s the last thing you want to do?
Set a time, and stick to it
I know that this sounds like a sad attempt at a fix-all solution—but consistency is how you establish habits. For a while, I had to literally force myself to do my Bible study in the morning. And, after a long time (like, years), it finally became part of my routine.
So even when I don’t feel like reading my Bible, I do. And, surprise surprise, God works in and through me anyway. We can’t relegate our Bible reading to times when we are feeling spiritually fit or strong—so do it regardless.
Set a reminder on your phone. Write it in your planner. Block it off on your calendar.
Start a new study
Sometimes, starting a new study can be rejuvenating for your faith. Start reading a new book of the Bible, diving into a new Bible study, or participating in a new online study! Find a topic that interests you or addresses a struggle you’ve been having (like maybe staying motivated!).
Share your struggle in Christian community
If you’re struggling to regularly do Bible study, share this challenge with a close Christian friend or your Bible study group. Ask them to hold you accountable and to help you remember to stick to your schedule. They can text or email you encouragements throughout the week!
What do you do when you’re feeling unmotivated to read your Bible? Any tips that have worked for you?