What to do When You Fall Behind

There’s nothing worse than falling behind on your Bible reading plan.
For me, at least, it’s a disaster.

I feel guilty, defeated, disoriented, and I fret over how to catch up.  So here are some tips.

First, don’t allow yourself to feel guilty, defeated, or disoriented.  And don’t fret over how to catch up.  Remember that you are God’s beloved child.  You belong to Him.  Nothing can separate you from His love.  Relax, and luxuriate in His constant presence.
Give a little thought into how you fell behind and make adjustments.  Also, it’s a good insurance practice to read ahead whenever you find an extra minute or two.

What to Do When You are in Serious Trouble

Remember Sunday afternoons. A few years ago, I was following an online schedule that left out the book of Job.  Yikes!  When the schedule jumped from Esther to Psalms, I was suddenly 42 chapters behind.  That’s when I discovered Sunday afternoons.  I just went on with the online schedule as if nothing had happened, but every Sunday afternoon, I read a chapter or two of Job.  It probably took fifteen or twenty Sundays, but it was stress-free reading since I didn’t really care how long it took.

You can do the same.  If you ever find yourself behind by 42 chapters, you can just jump back in where you are supposed to be and use a special time to catch up on the unread passages.  You won’t be reading the the Bible in the order given, but that’s okay.

Switch to a faster schedule. I did this last year. I was so far behind on my four-month schedule (which I started in September) that I switched mid-stream to a three-month schedule – and was able to finish by December 31st as planned.  This strategy involved picking up my pace.

Switch to a slower schedule. Say, you’ve gotten as far as Judges, and you’re supposed to be in II Samuel.  You could simply switch to a slower schedule.  Just find Judges on your new schedule and start where you left off at the new, slower pace.  Your end date will change, and that is perfectly acceptable.

Forget your schedule and just read. Slow readers do this all the time.  They don’t care about how long it takes them to get through the Bible.  The last thing a slow reader needs or wants is a silly schedule.

Remember, Bible Reading is an intensely personal experience

End the end, it all boils down to your personality, values and time constraints.  To learn more about this subject, and to identify whether you are a fast reader or a slow reader, please refer to chapter 3 of my book, The Bible Reading Revolution.

Remember, no commandment says you are supposed to read your Bible once a year.  Here’s the Bible Reader’s Creed again.

With God’s help, I will read my Bible,

every word, in the proportion that God gave,

over and over again for the rest of my life.