Sunday, October 02, 2005

Enjoy Your Bible Reading Better than a Billionaire

Good morning, Happy Souls!

Are you feeling motivated this morning? I certainly hope so. I know that I am!

Can you recall any Bible stories?

Do those stories inform your daily life?

Are you brought closer to God when you live according to those stories?

Would you like to have those experiences more often?

If so, this blog post is for you.

How do most of us receive the Bible?

I haven't run a poll, but here's my guess.

1. Most people learn the Bible's stories and lessons by listening to someone else talk about a brief section of the Bible.

This might be through a sermon, listening to someone leading a Bible study group or a secular conversation that alludes to the Bible.

2. A much smaller group will write down the Biblical reference they hear about and briefly read that section while listening to the discussion.

3. An even smaller group will read the Bible from cover to cover.

4. A tiny group will seek out relevant sections of the Bible and read those sections to address an issue that troubles them in everyday life.

Those are all perfectly fine ways to access Biblical lessons, but they have one weakness: They don't focus much attention on the Bible. For instance, in a sermon reading the Bible's sections aloud may be less than two minutes in a 90 minute sermon. Many people who read verse daily do so for only five minutes.

How can you enjoy reading your Bible more so that you will spend more time doing so . . . and gain more from the experience?

Regardless of your faith, I encourage you to become your own director of religious education to customize an approach to Bible reading that makes the most sense for you:

1. Remember when the Bible has meant the most to you.

What was the context in which you were accessing the Bible? Were you alone? Were you in a study group? Were you being tried by difficult circumstances and you remembered a helpful Biblical reference? Were you listening to a sermon in dramatic circumstances like an Easter sunrise service? Were you sitting in a Redwood forest thinking about the awesomeness of God's creation?

2. Write down why each vivid memory meant so much to you.

Biblical interventions that stimulate you to prayer and greater consistency with God's purpose will be on your list.

In my case, I find that parts of the Bible that have changed my heart, my mind and my direction are the ones that have meant the most to me.

You may find that the sections that have comforted you in sorrow are among your vivid memories.

And there are many other potential answers . . . many of which will be unique to you.

3. Define what would make Bible reading even more delightful to you.

We are simple creatures in so many ways. We tend to do more of what we enjoy. If we take something important and pursue the activity in a more enjoyable way, we will be more active in that area.

For instance, I find that writing about something deepens my interest and understanding of something. This is consistent with the research that shows that most of us learn something best by teaching it to someone else. I love contemplating the Bible's parables. They speak to me in new ways every time I consider them. My Bible has a convenient listing of the parables so I can pick one out anytime I want.

You, on the other hand, may find it more delightful to be with someone you love . . . and enjoy hugs from time to time as you conduct a Bible study.

Most of us haven't yet had our optimal Bible reading experience. Feel free to construct a vision of what that experience might be.

4. Organize your life to have optimal Bible reading experiences more often.

I allocate time every day for reading the Bible from cover to cover. That's a great joy when I'm in sections that inspire me. It's a tough slog when I'm reading the various long genealogies or the rules for animal sacrifices in Leviticus.

Only while writing this entry did I realize that I should give myself a treat and read at least one favorite Bible story each day so that I will be sure to extract the maximum inspiration from my daily readings. My Bible has a list of 80 favorite Bible stories which makes it easy to find them. You can also buy reference books at most bookstores that will help you find more obscure stories.

5. Develop a list of Biblical references to help you in times of trouble and triumph.

We all have times when we are laid low by the combination of our emotions and our reactions to circumstances. We may feel like we don't have a friend in the world. But we do have a friend in God. If we are too downcast to pray to God, we may be able to open up the channels to His divine help by simply reading a passage designed to comfort us in our dark hour.

Chances are that when you are down you won't be able to focus yourself on finding such passages. But if you write the references down before you need them, you'll know that help is only a few seconds away in your Bible. My Bible has a reference section that makes the task easier to pointing to a few verses to begin preparing such a study.

But our souls are often in more danger in times of triumph than in times of trouble that humble us. In our triumph, pride blinds us and can lead us astray. How much better it is to read Scripture that helps us celebrate our success in God's way rather than in a reckless focus on self satisfaction.

6. Carry your Bible with you so that you can always access it.

There are many Bible-less areas in life. But like the good scout who is always prepared, you can avoid that problem by bringing your own.

We don't know when we will need direction or solace. So it's best to be prepared for when the need arises.

If you keep your lists of appropriate sections for different purposes in your Bible, you'll be even better prepared.

7. Ask other people to share how they gain more joy from their Bible reading.

You are likely to learn ways of enjoying the Bible that you would not have thought of on your own.

For instance, some devout people have taken the time and trouble to learn ancient Hebrew and Greek so well that they read and understand the original versions of the Bible . . . rather than reading them in translation. They report being able to gather new layers of meaning from seeing new nuances that have been obscured by translations.

8. Find someone you can discuss your questions with.

Sections of the Bible may be hard to reconcile in some cases where the contexts of the quotations are different. If you have a spiritual counselor, you should certainly discuss your questions with that counselor. If not, find one. In some communities there are marvelous radio shows where ministers will answer Biblical inquiries through call-in lines.

9. Pray for guidance on this subject.

God knows the perfect way for you to read the Bible. Let Him help you!

Can any billionaire do better? I don't think so!


N.B. As you can tell, I'm experimenting with color. Let me know what you like and what I should change about my use of color. Many thanks to Linda Grace for her suggestions which I am following!

Please let me know what else you would like to learn, and I'll do my best to help in future blog entries.

Thanks so much for your support of this blog. I'm delighted that so many tens of thousands of people have made this blog part of their regular reading habit!

If you like this blog, please let others know who might also enjoy it. E-mailing your favorite post to them is a great idea.

Thank you to my many friends, students, clients and blog readers who are spreading the good word about this blog.

If you are visiting today because someone invited you, I'm delighted to meet you! Let's stay in touch.

Remember to also visit

Be More Successful than a Billionaire at,

Enjoy Mansions Better than a Billionaire at,

Enjoy Football Better than a Billionaire at and

Be a World Hero Better than a Billionaire at

I offer individual on-line tutorials and in-person seminars on living better than a billionaire on five dollars extra a day, creating 2,000 percent solutions (20 times the results with the same effort), developing more profitable business models and designing strategies that work regardless of the business environment. For information, contact me at

I am available to you as a speaker on these subjects. You can find my background at

May God bless you.

Donald W. Mitchell, Your Dream Concierge

Copyright 2005 Donald W. Mitchell


Post a Comment

<< Home