When Bible Reading Feels Boring and Dull

Maybe you’ve been there? When bible reading feels like the last thing you want to do because it’s dry and boring? How can you be refreshed in His Word?

Can we just say the honest thing out loud? Sometimes opening God’s Word does not feel like the most exciting work we will do all day. Sometimes we work hard to develop the habit, we make space in our day to be faithful, and yet the act of engaging the Word feels like eating dry toast.  

Perhaps the book of the Bible you are currently reading is a bit hard to engage with or challenging to understand. Or maybe, after years in the faith, you feel like you have worn some passages out with familiarity, and reading through the days of creation, yet again, is hard to get too excited about. 

What are we to do when reading the Bible feels…can we just say it….kind of boring?

Getting honest about how we relate to Scripture and, thus, to God is a pretty great place to start. Sometimes, in our attempts at perseverance and dedication, our devotion turns to duty, and the results become quite dull. Gradually, we become apathetic, our devotion monotonous, and our daily reading another item on our checklist rather than an opportunity to know and adore the God of the universe. 

Recognizing this isn’t failure. It’s a good first step. Only a heart that knows the difference can step back and say – something is off here. I’m not okay with this boring exchange. I want to know the living God and learn from Him, commune with Him, rather than inhale a few quick words so I can check them off my list. 

If His Word is life, and it is, we are absolutely here to trudge through tough days of knowing Christ through all of the noise of life. But we can also progress in developing our appetite for knowing Him. We can make it our goal to bless the Lord, to have a soul that boasts in the Lord, that magnifies Him as we read in Scripture. That doesn’t quite sound like days of boring Bible reading, does it?

Where to start?

  1. We ask the Holy Spirit. Jesus told the disciples (and us!) clearly in John that the Holy Spirit is our Helper, that He would teach us all things and help us remember all of the things Jesus taught. What a gift! We don’t have to sit and read flat words on our own. We don’t have to try to make sense of seemingly complicated truths in our own strength and limited wisdom. Jesus gave us a Helper, a teacher with the power to make this Word come alive for us. We need to take Him up on that. Ask the Holy Spirit to be near. Invite Him into your Bible reading!
  2. We take seriously the living and active word.
    Unlike any other book you have ever read, the Bible is living and active by the power of the Holy Spirit, and I think we severely underestimate this fact. I have sat down in Genesis 1 before and thought – God, what more is there to learn here? In fact, I did that recently. I felt myself recoil at the familiarity of the text as quiet questions arose. Maybe I should just skip the first couple of chapters of Genesis? Instead, I prayed and asked God to help me learn here, to keep me humble and hungry, and to know more. 

He answered powerfully. Details I hadn’t noticed jumped off the page. Typically captivated by the beauty and bounty of His creation, this time I noticed the boundaries and limits – day and night, water here, and not there. Yes, a wild display of plants and animals, but all with limits after their own kind. Wild extravagance from nothing, but never chaos. How many times had I read Genesis and never focused on an Unlimited God and the beautiful limits of creation? 

This is the power of the Holy Spirit and the living and active word of God, friend. He loves to meet us here. He loves seeing His daughters faithfully pursue Him, but don’t settle for boring Bible reading.

Don’t be content to park there as if it is our cross to bear. Acknowledge when it’s hard and dry. Ask Him for a new hunger and appetite for His word. Don’t be afraid to mix up your routine, or even ask Him to help you read old words with new eyes. That is a prayer I know He loves to answer. 

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