Elder Keith Ellis
I believe that the study environment is very important in helping to establish good study habits from the beginning. We want to make the most of the time we spend studying so the time will be quality time spent. So you need to select a place and a time in which you will not be disturbed if possible. A place that is quiet and will allow you to concentrate and meditate about what you are reading. This should become a daily ritual.
Of course we already mentioned the necessity of the humble spirit and prayerful attitude. So the place and time you choose is also important. I have made it a habit to arrive at my place of work forty-five minutes early each day. At this time, when no one else is around and the building is quiet, I am able to peacefully consider what I am reading. I also try to make sure my desk is clear of any paper work that may distract my attention and preoccupy my thoughts. This works well for my reading through the Bible portion of my study. I also use this as my quiet time with the Lord to ponder the day ahead of me and to quietly consider the portions I have just read. For my subject study I usually sit outside at home in the evenings on the swing that is under the elm tree. This frees me from the distractions of a house that has three teenagers in it. And if the weather does not permit me to sit outside I will retreat to my bedroom, which is the quietest place in the house. I can hear some saying, I do not get to work that early, or I do not have that much time to spend everyday. There is an old saying. "You always have time for the things you put first." We usually find time to do a million other things, most of which are probably not very important if we get right down to it. Consider how important the study of God's word is. It is a very serious matter. But if we make time for God everyday in our lives rather than the other things, we will be the better for it. And as we come to grow in the grace of God we will wonder how we got along without the knowledge of God's word beforehand. So we can make a million excuses for not doing what is right, or we can do what is right and be blessed of God for the effort.
When you do decide to begin your study, if you sit in your favorite easy chair, please leave the T.V. OFF. You cannot study and watch T.V. at the same time, no matter how talented you think you are! Once I had begun serious Bible study after joining the church, I had the privilege to be away from the television set for six months solid. In its place I read and I read and I read my Bible. This was a most refreshing time in my life and I thank God for it. Now I am not saying that I think that T.V. is bad one way or another. It has its merits and its pitfalls. I know that many in this society spend a lot time watching it. The point is that much time in front of the T. V. is wasted time. Studying your Bible is much more profitable, fruitful and beneficial.
If you have legitimate reasons and difficult surroundings then be sure that God knows all about it. He will bless our sincere efforts to learn more about Him if we are persistent. If at all possible, we should seek a setting in which we will have the least distractions. This may seem simple and unimportant, but just wait and see all the distractions the devil will throw at you to keep you from studying God's word.I know a man that reads his Bible while driving down the highway. Although God takes care of us in many ways, He also gave us common sense to use it.