Being easily distracted, especially when it comes to studying our Bible, is not something anyone wants to admit. But for some of us, it’s a real struggle.
Those of us with a “rich inner life,” have so much going on inside of our heads that it’s not uncommon for a certain words or events to trigger a random thought we had once—six years ago.
We are the type B’s, and we are a little bit messy, a little scattered-brained, a lot misunderstood.
To be honest, I love my type-b, introverted, high-sensitive, rich inner mind-self. But it does have some negatives. Sometimes I really want to focus on one thing, but I find it hard to stop my brain from going a thousands different ways.
Studying my Bible is one of those things. I wish I could shut off the creative, overprocessing, thinking about what I said to that one person nine years ago self. And because it’s important to me and because I know my proclivity towards unproductive multitasking, I’ve come up with some ways to work around my distracted tendencies.
If you struggle with this, too, read on, kindred soul!
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7 Practical Bible Study Tips for the Easily Distracted
I begin every Bible study by asking God to help me focus and to calm my mind. Sometimes it’s as simple as reciting Psalm 119:18:
Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law.
Other times I journal everything that it is on my mind. Every fear, every person I want to pray for, every call I need to make, and then I give over the worry and that brain space to God asking Him once again to help me focus on Him.
Regardless of what my prayer looks like, it’s a signal to my brain and my soul that this time is sacred, and I need to ask God to assist me in honoring that.
2. 1 Specific Study (and a side study)
Unless you are particularly focused, it’s hard to sit down and study your Bible without a plan. The Bible is vast, and can feel overwhelming if you don’t have any idea of how to begin.
I’ve found it helpful to follow some sort of plan. I have found some plans that work really great for me and others not so much. My best suggestion would be to try out a few plans to figure our your sweet spot.
But for me. . .
I’m a big fan of She Reads Truth. They provide the topic and the Scripture reading and an optional devotional. You get to do what you want with it. Sometimes I journal whatever thoughts popped into my head, other times I look up Scripture references, or I pray the words over my life. Flexibility in application works best for me.
I also find there are times when I can’t focus enough to do my main study. Instead of skipping out on Bible study altogether, I have a side study. My “side study” is merely copying down Scripture in my journal.
It’s is helpful for the easily distracted since you have to read the sentence and then read it again as you write it.
While I don’t use accountability in a traditional sense, I still find it highly useful in encouraging myself to focus. Instead of having to check in with someone—something I really struggle with—I follow the same plan as others. For me knowing I’m on target with others is enough accountability.
This is another reason, I love She Reads Truth. I’m studying Scripture with thousands of other women, and I can read their comments about today’s study. If I’m so inclined, I can join in on the conversation, too.
My third tip is once you figure out which Bible study works best for you, figure out what form of accountability keeps you most focused.
4. Minimize Distractions
I realize this one probably goes without saying, but it would seem silly not to mention it in this post. Some of the ways I minimize distractions are:
- Not turning on my computer until I do my Bible study. If my computer is on, there is very little chance that I will focus.
- I don’t charge my phone overnight, instead I plug it in first thing in the morning. I know that this tip might not be practical for you, but it has done wonders for my distractiveness.
While the word “schedule” may make your break out in hives, routines don’t seem nearly as bad. I’ve found that having a routine can be one of the best things for my easily-distracted self, especially when it comes to Bible study.
When I begin my routine of turning on the coffee maker, filling up a glass with water, getting out my Bible and my favorite pen, sitting in my special chair, my brain starts making the connection about what is going to happen next. When I break out of this routine, I am much more scattered-brained when I try to study God’s Word.
6. Helpful Tools
Even in the best circumstances (which don’t always happen because children . . .), I still have to fight to remain on task. I start thinking about what I need to do, a blog post idea pops in into my head, or a random anxiety makes itself known.
I’ve learned to surround myself with helpful tools to quickly and effectively purge the idea from my head and carry on with my study.
- I keep a set of post-it notes next to me. I’m currently using these because cute!
- I also use this to-do list notepad that has a place for pretty much everything I could think of that needs to be done, bought, or made.
Despite all of these wonderful tips that have truly transformed my Bible study from a time of frustration to rich deep communion with God, sometimes nothing seems to help me focus.
I’m learning to except these times for what they are—a blatant demonstration of my deep need for grace and mercy.
While I hope you can use a few of these tips to help your own Bible study, most of all I want you to know how loved and cherished you are—just as you are.
God isn’t surprised by your scattered brain or your awkwardness or your weird quirks. He loves you. He made you. And His grace is for you, too. Grace isn’t for the perfect.
No matter what your Bible study looks like or your prayer life or your attempt at a Church community you are unconditionally and irrevocably loved by an unchanging, all-powerful God.
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