I don't want to read the Bible

Sometimes I don’t want to read the Bible.

There, I said it. It might not look good, but at least it is true.

In some Christian communities, there is a lot of pressure to read the Bible. In other churches, Bible reading is a lost habit.

Overall, Pew Research shows that 63% of American evangelical adults read the Bible at least once a week and another 12% once or twice a month. We’re outdone, however, by Mormons (77% say once a week) and Jehovah’s Witnesses (88% say once a week). Interestingly, they didn’t ask how often people read the Bible every single day.

There are a lot of reasons we might want to avoid the Bible:

  • It’s too complicated to understand
  • It’s too long to finish
  • It reminds me of bad experiences
  • I’m not sure it’s true
  • I don’t have the time
  • I don’t know why I should
  • I don’t find it helpful
  • It’s boring

But there are other reasons too. We prefer instant gratification to hard work. It’s easier to flip through TikTok than to study the book of Jeremiah. The Bible convicts us of sin - an unpleasant experience. We can get spiritually discouraged; we don’t have the energy to try again. Perhaps our friends and family look down on Bible reading, so we don’t have much support for our faith.

Maybe we feel anxious about “doing it right,” but we lack the training to read the Bible, so we give up before we experience inevitable failure.

Perhaps the most substantial reason in my experience is a fear that God is harsh and angry. I don’t want to get destroyed by God for all my failures.

So why do I keep reading the Bible?

First, I’ve started to understand that God is my Friend. I don’t read the Bible to get close to God. Instead, because God is close to me, I want to read the Bible.

Second, my closest friends treasure the Scriptures. They encourage me with how God moves in their lives as they read the Bible.

Third, this community supports me. If I have a question, I can ask it. If I’m struggling, I can share about it.

Fourth, I feel empty and rudderless when I don’t have guidance from God. But I feel encouraged and energized when I do.

Finally, and most ordinarily, it is a habit.

So what’s your real experience with Bible reading?


Hi Carson, thank yoy for being so authentic about your experience with reading the bible. I really relate to what you’ve said as why you still continue to do so despite it being hard.

For me, I tend to put off reading a bible because of perfectionism. For example if I feel I’m not reading it ‘right’ or enough or not in the mental capacity I would feel the need to wait until I was, which is definitely not a good thing as I’d thinking of reading God’s word as an act of work rather than having a relationship with him. Though, this is a personality fault of mine more than anything else.

What helps me read a bit a day is to tell myself even if I don’t manage to read through much or really understand all that I feel I need to, God sees my heart and that it’s not a matter or how much I read but my intention behind reading it.

It’s true that there are those days for everyone whereby they’d be too busy to read the bible or end up not readining as much as they’d hope, but skipping a day does not have to end up effecting ones desire to continue learning about God. One could continue to pick up from where they left off without feeling like they have failed God or themselves!


Hi Kiko, this is so real. Yea, I have the same struggle.

I remember a friend saying that he felt like unless he translated the Bible from the original languages and diagrammed the grammar, then it wasn’t worth his time! He said he needed at least two hours to “properly” study the Bible.

Well, the net result was that he didn’t study the Bible very often! Sometimes we can place incredibly unrealistic expectations on ourselves.


Hi all, new to this, Im Bubba.
One of the things I started early in my post salvation walk was to read from the Bible at least one chapter a day, morning and night if I can but at least at bedtime as I drift off. I love reading, cant even estimate the amount of books ive read in my life, literally thousands (Im 67) and still, this is the hardest read I have ever undertaken. ( Ive read all four of Frank Herberts Dune works at over a thousand pages each for goodness sakes! This should be a piece of cake!) For one, its not linear, its not a start and finish in the whodunit sense and in places the particular author got dry and I would have to reread entire chapters behind a lack of comprehension of what I just read. Then I get to the good stuff, the stories, Noah, David, Jonah, etc. and I find it hard to stop reading. The trick to the Bible for me is to stuff my personal feelings about a given book in it and get on with it because my Friend and Father has much to impart to me and a given amount of time for me to get each meaning and the intended instruction behind the nights read. I found that if I put it down too long its simply too hard to get back in the groove and to muster the desire so I no longer give myself that leeway. All my Buds in the Bible need me to get the messages they gave to me and that requires me doing at least as much as they did, they took time from thier lives to write the message, how can I justify not even finding the heart to do my part and see what God or Jesus, or the Holy Spirit want to point me to. I also found that hopping from place to place was simply too chaotic so I do a front to back read which I found made it appear to be more linear than it really is. But without fail, reading the Bible makes me feel connected to the whole thing, God, creation, the world I reside in and its challenges. I have yet to read even a short chapter not get a “that was written to me vibe.” Its all in there and when I read it I feel more a functioning, usable piece of the puzzle and a part of Gods plan. Early in my walk I noted that when I didnt read the Word I would slide back toward the world but when I stayed connected to the Word I felt and stayed closer to God and His plan for my walk…anyway, theres my nickels worth. Thanks for the platform, Im gonna need it, get LOTS of questions from time to time. God Bless


Hi @arthur

Thanks for sharing, and welcome to Uncommon Pursuit!

This reminded me of a talk I listened to recently in which the speaker was saying that we need to be following the command to “love my neighbour” even in reading the Bible. If we’re to love the Biblical writers as our neighbours, we need to treat the writers with respect and patiently read the message that they have to give us, without forcing our own agendas into the text.

Absolutely! We’ve just been away for a few days with family in which I couldn’t keep to my normal Bible study habits each day. I notice the absence of the habit so much, and it’s such a joy and relief (and a little apprehension at switching on the mind again) to dig into the Word again.

I can relate to this too! I actually prefer the serious Bible study to the superficial reading, as I think it sinks deeper into my heart. However I’m also learning to not shirk the quick superficial read through as well, as the Holy Spirit is still working through that too.


Welcome @arthur / Bubba!

It’s refreshing to hear you share this. Even for avid readers, the Bible is a daunting challenge. I think your honesty gives us permission to struggle too.

I agree. You’ve expressed how I feel about reading the Scriptures too!

You would help us out if you asked a new question every single day. We thrive on real, honest questions about living as Jesus’ disciples. And when you ask a question and it starts a great conversation, that can help out another hundred or thousand people who come along and read it later.


I confess I read more books about the Book than the Book itself. But, in my defense, it was because I had read the Book that drove me to the books about the Book.
I subscribe to the view that the Bible was written for us but not to us. In short, it is like reading someone else’s mail, and unless you know more about who sent and wrote the mail, it is hard to make sense of what you are reading.
Thoughts and comments?


Agreed! The more I understand about the Bible, the more I turn to scripture itself. But you’re right, you need to do extra study - a lot of it - to get the most out of the Bible. I remember I used to find the Psalms boring :face_with_peeking_eye: because they didn’t mean anything to me. It’s because I hadn’t understood the context, the narrative styles, the backgrounds of the authors, or the double messianic meanings of some of them. Once I had begun to learn this background, the psalms became way more meaningful and I could turn back to them and read them, finding the Holy Spirit ministering to me because they carried great weight of meaning and message.