I adore books. Reading a variety of books is a must in my opinion. There is so much to be learned! There is knowledge to take in, wisdom to be gleaned and ideas to potentially adopt into our own lives. By reading books we can enlarge our thinking, challenge limited mindsets and begin to see things from another person's perspective. Not to mention we can also learn a trade, teach ourselves an academic and learn from our ancestors of old. Reading books also helps us to step outside of our own society and stay humble before God.
I can't even begin to tell you all the things I have learned by reading many books. I've enlarged my thinking about others, God's Sovereignty, the culture around me, apologetics, God's creation and even fictional stories! It's been a blessing to glean this information, see how it line's up (or doesn't line up) with the Holy Scriptures and either accept or reject the ideas given.
Of course, reading books is a worthless pursuit if we believe that through reading we will acquire wisdom aside from God and become puffed up in our own knowledge. The preacher who wrote the book of Ecclesiastes even wrote, of making many books there is no end, and much study wearies the body. Also, there is nothing new under the sun. (Ecclesiastes 1:9 and 12:12) We must remember though, these words were penned for the man who did not keep God at the center of his life and found that all these things were worthless without Him.
God At The Center
Reading books is not a worthless pursuit when God is at the center of our lives. Nor will we be easily led astray by other worldviews we may come up against if we keep ourselves centered in God's Word first.
To be quite honest, I still don't read certain books. Romance novels are something I've chosen not to read, along with an outright God-less or God bashing piece of literature. I still try to read to God's glory.
When my walk with God became more serious, I didn't read books that were not Christian oriented. Truthfully, it was a stumbling block for me. I needed to orient myself first in God's Word then ventured out into Christian books. Well, actually I used Christian literature to help me in studying God's Word; I still do! But God's Word comes first. As a young born again believer, I couldn't deal with anything that wasn't Christ-centered. I needed protection against other worldviews in order to grow up in Christ. Just as a child needs protection from the outside world, I too needed protection by reading only Christian literature and of course God's Word. The Bible talks about this very concept.
You must crave pure spiritual milk so that you can grow into the fullness of your salvation. Cry out for this nourishment as a baby cries for milk,
1 Peter 2:2 (NLT)
I had to feed you with milk, not with solid food, because you weren't ready for anything stronger. And you still aren't ready,
1 Corinthians 3:2 (NLT)
You have been believers so long now that you ought to be teaching others. Instead, you need someone to teach you again the basic things about God's word. You are like babies who need milk and cannot eat solid food.
Hebrews 5:12 (NLT)
New believers need the pure spiritual milk of God's Word and the principles taught in the Bible. Without it the foundation we stand upon will collapse. Like the apostles of old said, only when we drink the milk first can we then move on to more solid foods.
In Light of God's Word
I'm just beginning to read weightier literature that may or may not line up with God's Word. After about three years of reading almost nothing but Christian non-fiction and the Bible, I now feel comfortable to venture out into different reading materials. Some things are still off limits but reading has truly opened up new adventures and understanding in my life.
The book "Lit!: A Christian Guide to Reading Books," by Tony Reinke, which I highly recommend goes into even greater detail about reading books from a Christian perspective.
"As strange as it sounds, our eyes are filled with the Creator's glory in literature because we read in the presence of God's radiance. The motto of the reading Christian is a dazzling doxology: 'in your light do we see light.' (Psalm 36:9) Christian readers can now see and treasure the truth, goodness, and beauty that flicker in the pages of books. The whole thing is like reading books under high voltage stadium lights. We see the illuminating grace of God." (Lit! A Christian Guide to Reading Books)Wherever you are in your walk with God, I encourage you to read books. Christian oriented books, poetry, non-fiction, fiction, classic literature etc. By reading books in light of God's Word we can truly grow and learn to see God and the world around us in new ways.
Within the next week or so I will be adding an Amazon bookstore link to this site where I will share some great books that have helped me to grow and blessed me more than I could ever have thought. I pray you too will be blessed by the titles I share.
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