Bible Study Tips: for the Unmotivated

A photo by Benjamin Combs.

I believe our Lord longs for us to be “constantly nourished on the words of the faith and of the sound doctrine.” (1 Timothy 4:6)

Unfortunately, the main reason we are unmotivated to read our Bibles is that we are lazy.

Sometimes, studying the Bible is like exercising. It is exceptionally good for our health, but it is difficult sometimes. Still, 1 Timothy 4 has more to say about our study of Scripture:

“for bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. It is a trustworthy statement deserving full acceptance. For it is for this we labor and strive, because we have fixed our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of believers.” 1 Tim 4:8-10

Here are 5 ways to apply advice about going to the gym to studying God’s Word:

1. Take a lesson from Nike: Just do it.

2. Be Accountable: “Hire a trainer.” Recruit someone to ask you the hard questions: did you spend time in God’s Word this week? Knowing that question is coming can be a helpful reminder to make time. Your accountability partner also might be able to help you through the difficult parts of scripture (like learning the weight machines at the gym).

3. Get together: Grab a friend to “exercise” your scripture reading with you. Join a “Scripture work-out class” (Sunday school or Bible study).

4. Habits never die: An active life starts by forming healthy habits; then it turns into second nature. Studying your Bible is the same way. It only takes 30 days to form a habit, they say. Stick with it!

5. Study to teach: My friend is naturally thin, so she rarely works out. Interestingly, she applied for a job as a work-out instructor at the gym where she works. She had to attend lots of classes to learn the moves to teach when she became and instructor.

I have a tendency to avoid reading scripture because I’m feeling “naturally healthy” in my spiritual walk. It is a sneaky form of laziness, but after all, it takes work to study and receive the teaching of the Holy Spirit from the Scriptures.

One way that almost forces me to engage in scripture is when I am in a leadership position. I know that teaching Sunday school requires some prep, so I study God’s Word throughout the week. I study, not just to learn for myself, but to help teach others.

If you are a parent, big brother or big sister, friend, mentor, or peer… you have someone to teach!  Study for them (Titus 2).

Still not “getting there?” If you still feel unmotivated, perhaps you are struggling with a different issue. It might be more likely that you have a distraction issue, an unprepared heart, or shuffled list of priorities.

But if you truly have a motivation problem, you will probably just go back to Facebook scrolling. Sorry to be harsh (I’m preaching to the choir here), but even pinning this helpful tip to Pinterest won’t help you actually get in the Word. We need to get off our lazy butts, repent, and get back into the Word of God.*

If lack of motivation isn’t the issue, I hope this link will help you move forward in discovering the Bible for yourself.

*Please remember, no matter how much you study the Bible, you will never grow more “lovable” or “righteous” in God’s eyes. If you are a Christian, you have received the righteousness of Christ. In short, you get Jesus’ resume. He already measured up to a thorough study of the Scriptures (He wrote them). Your studying will increase your understanding of God, and grow in your love for Him, but you must remember that HIS love for you is already fixed in Christ. Studying His Word is the best way to remember that, and a good way to share it with others.