How can I make reading the Bible a habit?

To hear God’s voice regularly, we might have to give something up.
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Greg McKeown, author of Essentialism, understands the necessity of trade-offs, a concept our culture has long dreaded. "The word priority came into the English language in the 1400s. It was singular. It meant the very first or prior thing. . . . Only in the 1900s did we pluralize the term and start talking about priorities."

Today, it's easy to live by the lie that we can do it all. But maybe the resolution to read the Scriptures would survive if we courageously acknowledged our limitations. We can't read the Bible, listen to Serial, catch up on the past five seasons of The Walking Dead, and keep our day jobs. It sounds straightforward, but it’s true: if reading the Bible became our priority, we would do it first. Then, with the time remaining, we would find room for what we can.

I anticipate some will raise the cry of legalism. After all, God loves us no matter how regularly we read the Scriptures or how regularly we fail. Thank God for the marvelous

grace that endures our inability to do the good we resolve to do. Reading God's Word does not earn his favor—that would make Christ’s sacrifice unnecessary. This habit that begins in ambivalent discipline, however, can grow into the desire of our hearts.

And besides, I can't imagine regretting having kept company with God.

Jen Pollock Michel is the author of Teach Us to Want,Christianity Today's 2015 Book of the Year, which is also produced as an original video series by RightNow Media. Her forthcoming book on the longing for home is expected in early 2017. Jen speaks on topics of practical theology. She belongs to Redbud Writers Guild and INK. You can find more at or follow Jen on Twitter @jenpmichel. This is adapted from an article that originally appeared on Her.meneutics.

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