Why I Don’t Use A Bible Reading Plan

My Bible App

I’m an avid user of the YouVersion app. I love it. For one thing, it’s super easy to just pull out my phone when I need to look up a quick verse. It’s also a pocket sized Bible, which comes in handy when I’m waiting somewhere. I always squeeze in Bible reading every chance I get.

It also has the great friend capability and now, you can even go through a devotional with any chosen friend. There are so many devotionals in there, it’s hard to NOT find something at just the right time. Of course, as with anything, there are always those that miss the mark a little bit. But that’s ok. It’s not too bad.

“Through The Year” Plans

This year, I caught myself deciding to start yet another “read through the Bible in a year” plan. Lord knows I’ve started one every year for the past….yeah, however long it’s been. But I had to think back on how that always works.

The first couple of weeks is always great. I’m usually right on track. During the first week of the year, we’re all still in “vacation” mode, living like we can sleep late every day and do whatever we want. Then reality hits.

I don’t know how many times I’ve read the first half of Genesis and the first half of Matthew. Let’s just suffice it to say, “LOTS” would cover it sufficiently.

So I caught myself wondering, why start another one. I know up front that I’m not going to finish it, I never do. Not because I don’t WANT to read the Bible. No, far from it! It’s just the way they go about it. And having to read and check it off and think about when you can get it all in.

It’s almost like being placed under subjection of the law again. Oh Gosh, I haven’t read those four chapters in Genesis! I’m falling behind in my plan! I know I already read half of Galatians because I had a question, but that wasn’t in the PLAN! Now what?

Stop The Insanity!

Isn’t it crazy that we do that to ourselves?

No, I’d much rather do as I’ve already done all year. Honestly, I’ve probably read the whole Bible this past year. Maybe twice! Well, ok, I’ve probably left off the genealogies and most of Leviticus, but that’s just me.

I’m an avid student of the Word. I catch myself speeding through my daily to-do list, just so I can sit down with my Bible, pad and pen. Sometimes I don’t need the pad, but I always have a pen. I highlight, jot down notes, make side references and so forth.

Reading and Study

Some days I read straight through a whole book, especially if it’s short. Other days, I’ll start reading and just happen to notice the note Scriptures, so I’ll bookmark and flip around to see what the other Scriptures have to say. Of course, those sometimes have Scripture references of their own, and before you know it, some days I’ve lost my place all together!

I Did It Myyyyyy Way

I guess I just like being led by the Spirit when it comes to reading, note taking and all that stuff. Being boxed in has never been my forte, and it goes right along when I take the time to study. I’ve never seen any study take you straight through the Bible, one page right after another. I just don’t think it was meant to be read that way.

So…I’ll just keep on doing it my way and leave the plans to those who feel comfortable with it. Because, in no way am I saying they don’t have their place. Some people are list makers and work much better with a plan ahead of them.

That was never me 🙂

So I’ll keep sharpening my sword the way I was taught. And you, by all means, sharpen yours as YOU see fit. And I’ll pray for you if you’ll pray for me!


  1. Love this! My approach is to pray first and ask the Lord to guide me to read what He has for me each day. Then I just open the Word and read until my heart feels tugged on. Then I continue to read until I know I’ve fully received His message.

    The app is great, and I use it on occasion, but I love to highlight and underline, so I prefer the actual book myself.

    I know those who torment themselves trying to read it all in a year with the app. They never quite make it and then they feel terrible about their Christian walk because of it. I remind them that quality is always better then quantity.

    1. Author

      Very wise words, Diana! Quality over quantity any day! And I’m a big fan of the actual pen and paper (and highlighter, and colored pencils, lol) so I’m biased right off the bat 🙂 Thank you so much for reading and for stopping to share your thoughts. Appreciate you so much!

  2. Stacey,

    Several years ago, I tried a Bible reading plan. I started okay. Then I missed a day or two and I got behind. The app kept sending me messages reminding me to do my reading. I ended up racing through the readings in order to catch up. I didn’t spend much time thinking about the words and soaking them in. I never did finish the plan. I died in the middle of Leviticus. Actually it was a bit of a relief to give up. I felt like my reading was more about keeping the app happy than meditating on God’s Word. These days, like you, I read the Bible my way!

    Have you ever tried an audio Bible? I sometimes listen to a dramatised version. it’s not so easy to make notes, but the words do come alive. I like to listen when I’m too tired to read. Sometimes I listen when I wake up in the middle of the night and can’t get back to sleep.

    1. Author

      Sue, those are exactly the words that set the scene for a year-long Bible reading plan…”keeping the app happy”! Isn’t that the truth? I’ve done the same thing, rushed through without really reading. That’s not how I want to hear from God, lol.

      On occasion, I do listen to the Bible in audio format. I am somewhat hearing impaired, with only about 30% left now, so I have to use headphones. It limits my ability but, like you, find that it does come alive so much more! It’s an excellent tool in today’s world. It’s one of the main ways my son gets the Word, because he is high functioning autistic. It is so much easier for him to HEAR the Word, rather than to attempt to read it, because he is dyslexic as well. When it’s more like a conversation, it’s much easier absorbed for him. I would say everyone should give it a listen, and it’s an excellent tool when riding in the car.

  3. Thanks you have some excellent things to say. I also have problems with a reading plan. I often have difficulty finding time to read. I like to listen on BibleGateway while I’m working. I often hear good little tidbits.

    1. Author

      Thank you! Yes, it can be hard to find time to sit down and read like we WANT to 🙂 I listen and get more out of it, I think, plus I can rewind it and listen more than once. I love that! Thanks for commenting!

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