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Posted 07/26/2022 in Christian Mental Health Tips

What are the Psychological Benefits of Reading the Bible

What are the Psychological Benefits of Reading the Bible

Bible Verse for Psychological benefits of reading the Bible

As Christians, we know that reading the Bible is vital for our spiritual life. We know that it spiritually edifies us and pushes us closer to God, so we read the Word as much as possible.

While it's true that reading the Bible comes with a lot of spiritual benefits, the world can't deny that it comes with a ton of psychological benefits as well. 

The Bible is filled with wisdom and knowledge, so much so that reading it can actually change your life. This is mainly because it's the Word of God, but also because it has a real effect on your brain. Yes, the Bible does feed us spiritually but even science cannot deny that it also feeds our brain. So if you are wondering what are the benefits of reading the Bible, keep reading below. 

How Reading the Bible Affects the Brain?

A study done by Dr. Michael Ferguson has illuminated how the Bible aids our brain's responses. In this research, scientists delved into the neurological reactions of religious individuals engaged in spiritual activities such as prayer or Bible reading.

After meticulous investigation, they pinpointed three key brain regions that exhibited heightened activity during these practices: the frontal attention lobe, the medial prefrontal cortex, and the nucleus accumbens. These areas showed significant increases in responsiveness while individuals were immersed in Bible reading or prayer.
Benefit of Bible Reading Quote Like this content on FacebookMoreover, the study revealed a surge in dopamine release in the brain during Bible reading sessions. Dopamine, known for its role in enhancing focus, motivation, and overall happiness, was notably elevated during these spiritual activities.

These findings underscore the profound impact of the Bible on neural pathways governing cognitive function and behavior. By influencing these pathways, the Bible helps shape our thoughts and behaviors in meaningful ways, demonstrating its enduring influence on the human brain.

Benefits of Reading the Bible

And as we read God's Word, God speaks to us through the Holy Spirit. Which is why Psalms 1:2-3 declares “Blessed is the man whose delight is in the law of the LORD, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, and whatever they do prospers.” 

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Bible Reading Heightens Your Brain Connectivity

When you engage in reading, various brain functions are activated, encompassing visual processing, comprehension, auditory perception, and more. However, when you read your Bible, these functions align with other regions of your brain as God intended, triggering the release of chemicals such as dopamine. This results in a profound emotional response to the content you are absorbing.

Reading the Bible Daily Improves Concentration

It has been proven that reading your Bible for at least 30 minutes a day can improve your concentration. If you struggle to concentrate, creating this habit will help you with that while deepening your relationship with God at the same time.

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Reading the Bible Encourages Positive Behavior

Reading the Bible causes our brain to release dopamine. When this happens, we experience a strong emotional response that affects our behavior, and because the Bible is filled with the Word of God, it is sure to encourage good behavior. Reading the Bible will make you feel like praying, treating people well, and trusting God, among other positive behaviors.

Reading the Bible Motivates You to Surround Yourself with Like-minded People

From the Old Testament to the New, you'll find people in community with others. The Bible is full of stories that show you that God uses people to help His people. People need you as much as you need them, so getting in community is important. 

Even Jesus surrounded Himself with people. Reading the Bible will motivate you to find a group of believers who love to read the word as much as you do.

Reading the Bible Will Strength Your Faith 

Daily Bible reading serves as a crucial reminder of God's faithfulness throughout history, showcasing how He has consistently delivered His children in the past. By immersing ourselves in Scripture each day, we gain a deeper understanding of God's character and His unfailing promises. This not only strengthens our faith but also equips us with the wisdom and assurance needed to navigate the challenges of the present moment. 

Moreover, as we reflect on the accounts of divine intervention recorded in the Bible, we are reminded of God's enduring power and sovereignty, instilling hope and confidence in His ability to deliver us in the future as well. In essence, the Bible equips us with the knowledge and conviction to trust in God's provision and protection, both now and in the days to come.

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Reading the Bible Will Affect Your Thoughts

With the multitude of neural pathways that reading the Bible activates, it's unsurprising that it significantly influences our thoughts. However, beyond its neurological impact, the Bible tells us much about the power and significance of our thoughts. Scripture instructs us to take every thought captive (2 Corinthians 10:5 NIV), guiding us to carefully examine and control our mental processes. Moreover, it urges us to focus on positive, uplifting thoughts (Philippians 4:8 NIV), emphasizing the importance of maintaining a mindset rooted in goodness and positivity. By consistently aligning our thoughts with the principles outlined in the Bible, we cultivate a mindset that reflects God's truth and fosters spiritual growth.

How To Start Reading The Bible Every Day And Why It Is Important For Your Mental Health

Daily Bible reading is an excellent habit that can benefit every Christian in many ways.  By reading God's Word regularly, you will eventually read through the entire Bible and gain a basic knowledge of God and the things of God.  Learning this fundamental knowledge is akin to learning your ABCs. It is impossible to read or write if you do not learn the letters of the alphabet. To understand even the most basic book or write a letter, we must first learn our ABCs.

The simplest way to start reading the Bible every day is to start small. Don't try to read a whole chapter a day if you've been struggling to consistently read a verse a day.

You can read the verse of the day on the YouVersion Bible app. You can open to a random scripture in the Bible. Or you can search for a scripture that speaks to your situation at that moment. It doesn't matter which way or format you read the Bible as long as you read God's Word.

If you are looking for resources to help you be more consistent with reading the Bible, we recommend the below 12 month digital Bible study journals developed by Kingdom Bloggers.  Each months study include a list of daily scripture to read, Bible study notes and SOAP worksheets, monthly prayer tracker and more.  You can purchase these Bible reading plans by clicking the picture below.  

12 month daily bible reading plan by Kingdom bloggersPurchase Now!

Starting this practice will work wonders in your spiritual and mental health. Yes, it's important for your mental health too. There's nothing better for someone who is dealing with mental health issues than love, hope, and encouragement directly from God's Word.

Reading the Bible may not directly cure your mental health, but it will help you get through it. Not only does it give you hope for a better tomorrow, but it also gives directions on how to get there. There is power in the Word, and that power has the ability to change everything.

How Reading the Bible Will Improve Your Mental Health

Reading scripture gives us spiritual nourishment because it teaches us who God is, what God's truth is, and how to refocus our thinking to what God says. Timothy was taught the importance of Scripture by Paul. Take note of the numerous areas he discusses and how they help us prepare for any excellent work. "All Scripture is inspired by God and valuable for teaching, reproof, correction, and instruction," says the Bible which includes improving your mental health.

The Bible Has Stories that Will Stir Up Hope in Your Heart

The Bible is filled with stories of people just like you and me. Stories of people who weren't perfect but were still loved and used by God. 

Whether it was for Noah, Esther, Moses, Peter, or Paul, the Bible shows us that God will show up for His people in their everyday lives. 

So if you're feeling depressed or anxious, read the Bible and know that what God did for them, He can and will do for you. Let the Bible stir hope in your heart for better days.

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The Bible has Words of Wisdom to Get you Through Each Day

Every book in the Bible contains God's wisdom that was passed on from generation to generation. You'll find many words of wisdom in the book of Proverbs but you'll find them throughout the Bible as well. The wisdom you gain from reading the Bible is more than enough to help you live a beautiful, happy, and fulfilled life.

It has the Love of God Woven through Every Verse

Sometimes when dealing with mental health issues, you feel unloved and like all hope is lost. Reading the Bible removes both those negative feelings. You find hope in how God helped others, but you also see and feel His love through the scriptures. 

By reading God's Word, you become accustomed to His character and that increases your faith. It increases your faith in the fact that He loves you, He is with you, and every plan He has for your life will come to pass.

So the next time you open your Bible, remember its benefits. Remember that it’s not only benefitting you spiritually but mentally as well. So much happens in your brain while you read God's Word, and it all contributes to making both you and your faith stronger in the end.

More Resources on The Psychological Benefits of Reading the Bible

If you would like to learn more about the psychological benefits of reading the Bible or the intersection of science and faith, check out the below resources. 

How God Changes Your Brain: Breakthrough Findings from a Leading NeuroscientistHow God Changes Your Brain: Breakthrough Findings from a Leading NeuroscientistGod and the Brain: The Physiology of Spiritual ExperienceGod and the Brain: The Physiology of Spiritual ExperienceAnatomy of the Soul by Thompson, Curt [Paperback]Anatomy of the Soul by Thompson, Curt [Paperback]Top 10 Reasons to Read the Bible Today: The Life-Changing Benefits of Daily Bible Reading (Top 10 Bible)Top 10 Reasons to Read the Bible Today: The Life-Changing Benefits of Daily Bible Reading (Top 10 Bible)

What benefits have you experience as a result of spending time reading the Bible? Leave a comment below

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About the Author: 

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Corine Williams, Ph.D. is Clinical Psychologist that is currently seeing clients in the States of Maryland, New Jersey, and New York. You can find out more about her practice by visiting www.therapyforchristians.com/corinewilliam. In addition to providing individual therapy, Dr. Williams is also passionate about writing books and designing merchandise that educate, uplift, and normalize mental health subject in the Christian community. You can find out more about her at www.booksbycorine.com or by visiting her amazon profile here: https://www.amazon.com/Corine-Hyman/e/B00AWZ5FL2

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Disclaimer: the information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this article are for informational purposes only. No material on this site is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you are looking for a Christian counselor near you, please check out our directory located here: Christians Therapist Near Me

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