Playing Catch-Up

So I’ve fallen a few days behind on my Bible reading schedule. Not behind on posting the readings, but on actually reading them.

This is something that I’m sure has happened to everyone who has tried to follow a reading schedule. It’s nothing to feel guilty about; nowhere has God commanded you to follow a strict reading schedule and follow it every single day. You haven’t sinned by falling behind. The question is, then, what should you do? Do you catch up on your old readings so you still get them all done, or do you just move to the current day and leave the ones you missed behind?

Here’s my recommendation. For most people, you should just start again with the current day. That way, you won’t get bogged down by seeing a huge backlog of readings to do. I think for most people, knowing you are behind and have to catch up will be just enough of a barrier to get you to not keep reading. And since you’ve found it important enough to choose to follow a reading plan, you already think that reading and studying the Bible is important. So, just pick it up at the day you’re on, and go from there.

There are some exceptions to this, though. You might be one of those perfectionist-types who will be endlessly bothered by the fact that you’ve just skipped a section in your reading. If that’s you, fine; go ahead and catch up. As long as you’re not too many days behind, catching up should be doable, and you will be able to rest easier. (And seriously, work on the perfectionistic tendencies! It’s not usually a good thing! I know of what I speak here.)

One other exception: pastors or anyone who is called to teach God’s Word. In my book, you need to know God’s Word backwards and forwards to better help the people you serve. This is why I always play catch-up for as long as it takes. I serve people who will expect (and rightly so) that I am the resident expert on the Bible. So besides studying whatever Bible class or sermon I’m working on, I want to be reading the Bible so I am always growing in every part of it. That way I can answer questions and have a deeper knowledge base to draw on for my answers, my sermons, etc. God keeps blessing this!

So remember: reading the Bible = good! But don’t get bogged down if you miss a day or two, unless it really bugs you. But if you’re a pastor, you’d better be continuing your readings! You owe your best to those you serve; and this discipline will also come with God’s blessings. So it’s win-win!

 

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