I have tried (and failed) several times to read the entire Bible. It seems easy enough, there are a ton of really cool stories to read through! And it seems like it’d be an easy habit to get into, just read a chapter each morning (or night or mid-afternoon, whenever works best for you). You might not finish in a year, but it’s still an accomplishment.
It’s not that easy. There are some pretty crazy chapters. Psalm 119 is humongous. And before that, there are whole chapters devoted to some weird laws that (thankfully) no longer apply to us because of Jesus’ death and resurrection. And the so-and-so begot so-and-so chapters. Lots of crazy names that aren’t even mentioned more than once in the Bible.
And when I read through that day after day, I started to think “what’s the point?” I don’t have to follow these laws and these people can’t be that important if they don’t have a story in here somewhere. And then I’d stop reading. A few months down the road, I’d pick it back up again, only to run into the same problem: I’d get bored reading some of those chapters.
I tried it several different ways, reading the Old Testament first, reading the New Testament first, starting with Psalms, starting with John… but still nothing worked. And it was frustrating. There I was, trying to do what the Bible says about learning the scriptures and keeping them close to my heart but I couldn’t even get through the first five books!
I started talking to one of my small group leaders about the problem I was facing and she offered help. First she said she’d be willing to be accountability partners and then she introduced me to the M’Cheyne Bible Reading Plan, a one year read the Bible through plan. It’s featured in the YouVersion Bible app and is online. It offers several chapters to read each day, two from the Old Testament and two from the New Testament.
I started the reading plan on Oct. 15 and it’s going good so far. But the most helpful thing is the accountability I share with my small group leader. We meet twice a week and discuss the readings. I know that if I forget to read, she won’t yell at me, but instead she’ll encourage me to do better next time and congratulate me for the readings I did remember to do. The important thing is not that I complete the plan every single day, but that I read and learn what God is saying in each passage.
Having an accountability partner is something that I think everyone should do. No matter if you’re on a set course to read the Bible cover to cover or just doing a daily devotional from a guide or if you’re wanting to get started but you just don’t know how or where to start, an accountability partner will encourage you to read and also help you grow through discussions over the readings.
Go out and find a friend, a small group leader, a parent, a sibling, a coworker, anyone you talk to on a regular basis and talk about being accountability partners. And remember that they aren’t just there for you, you’re there to help them too.
Hannah Muñoz, accountability partner