In his book, Our Faith, Emil Brunner says that the Bible is a unique and noteworthy book “if for no other reason, in that so many people possess this Book and so few people read it.”
I feel there’s a little bit of sarcasm and desperation in those very words. But it certainly is true. The Bible has been translated into so many languages, and it has been issued in so many editions. Yet the number of people who actually read the whole book does not seem to correspond to its prominence in the church and the publications every year.
We Christians have essentially reduced the scripture to a manual that we turn to whenever we need to find an answer for a specific question.
That’s not encouraging.
So to remind ourselves that we are called to read the whole of the Bible, below I’ll share with you what habits you can develop just by reading the whole Bible from cover to cover. Note that by reading the whole of the Bible, you will increase your chance of developing these habits and appreciating them. Obviously there is not a direct, one-on-one connection between the habits or attitudes I mention and reading the Bible. There are so many factors and issues involved in developing these habits.
So here we go.
1.By reading the Bible from cover to cover, you can develop patience.
Patience is one of the virtues mentioned many times in the scripture. So we may safely conclude that it is an important virtue to develop, and gaining patience in life by building this habit is one of the best ways to accomplish this goal.
Now, reading the sacred text from cover to cover would certainly help develop some level of patience. This is so because the Bible is a large book, and it requires patience to read. You cannot just read it in one day. It is physically impossible unless you are skipping some texts and gaining a shallow knowledge of the scripture. Even then, I’m not sure if you can read the whole of the Bible in one day. So reading the whole Bible requires an initial willingness to slow down and come back to the book many times. And these are the prerequisites for developing that kind of patience.
But also some passages of the Bible are really not easy to read. They don’t necessarily grab your attention, and you have to overcome your urge for lighter reading in order to endure certain sections of the scripture. For example, there are long lists of names and detailed descriptions of the temple and of Jerusalem. To be able to read them, the reader has to put some effort into the reading and be patient. This means that reading the Bible already requires a level of patience, but that little level of patience will be strengthened even more if you persevere to the end.
2.Reading the Bible from cover to cover will help you develop consistency.
Reading the Bible from cover to cover requires consistency; otherwise you will never finish this book. Since you cannot read the book in one single attempt, you need to come back to it again. And then come back again some other time to read the book. Lots of people who start to read the whole Bible give up somewhere along the way when they no longer want to plow through the scripture’s dense texts. No matter how many times you read the Bible every day, it will require at least a few months to finish. Especially if you want to actually understand the text and not rush through. That again requires consistency, and whatever level of consistency you bring into your reading will grow stronger when you finish the whole book.
3.Reading the Bible from cover to cover will increase your chance to establish a rhythm and keep it going.
Rhythm is a part of life. In one way or another, we all have daily activities and rhythms that anchor us. But I’m not speaking about biological rhythms. I’m speaking about the rhythms we design (willingly or unwillingly). For example, a daily walk can be a part of a person’s rhythm. However, not all people are attentive to the rhythms that they have built into their daily lives.
That’s where reading the whole Bible comes in.
When you read the Bible day in and day out, the whole experience turns into a repeated habit or activity of your life. Because of that repetition, it stands out among the mass of transient work or the job you do. Quite often it may become an anchoring activity for your life — at least that’s what it became for me.
4.You can develop the habit of having regular quiet time by reading the Bible from cover to cover.
Reading the whole Bible (if done in all seriousness) can also help you develop the habit of a regular quiet time in which you withdraw from the hustle and bustle of life to slow down and focus on something precious. This matters. Often being busy makes us move through life without paying attention to the details or the small things that bring us happiness. We chase the bigger picture while missing the happiness hidden in the ordinary details that God puts into our lives.
But reading the Bible — if you take the time to slow down, concentrate, and read without distractions — will help you develop an appreciation for that time. Quiet time with the word of God may also lead to many other insights or a search of the heart that you wouldn’t see or be aware of otherwise. Essentially, quiet time is necessary for seeing what God has in store for you and for stepping back from the issues of the day to notice where you’re going.
That said, before I end this post, I want to address one more issue. These are not the only habits you can develop by reading the Bible from cover to cover. If you think a bit deeper, I’m sure you could find many other habits that would positively change from your attempt at reading the whole Bible. But more importantly, you can apply these habits to other fields or activities of your life.
The easiest example is that just by reading the whole Bible and being more patient, you will be more disposed to deal with other detail-oriented activities that require sustaining a focused attention for extended periods of time.
So read the word of God. All of it. And let God reward you for your effort.
If you think reading the Bible may help to develop other habits, comment and let us know. Did you like this post? Then share it on social media and check the links below that would motivate you to read the scripture.