Saturday, July 31, 2010

To Read or Not to Read

I am grappling right now with the question of how much reading I should do. Apart from the Bible what amount of other reading is right for me?

As a child I read only what I had to for school. Thankfully, as a young adult, Gerald awakened me to the joy of reading. God used many books and articles, along with speakers, in our early years together to shape and direct us in every area of our lives. God continues to work on us, though not as much through written material.

I’ve been exposed to a huge amount of wisdom over the years. As I have embraced and put into practice even a fraction of it, I have experienced fullness and satisfaction as a follower of Christ. So, how much more reading should I do, especially since I haven’t applied but a small portion of what I’ve learned so far? I don’t want to be so bogged down with reading about the Christian life that I don’t have time to live it.

The early Christians didn’t have shelves and shelves of Christian books to read, yet they grew and matured and stood as beacons in a dark world with the gospel spreading like fire. Is it really so hard to understand the gospel and to live the Christian life, that we need to constantly be reading large amounts of material, in addition to the Bible, to get it figured out? Ongoing immersion in God’s Word should be enough.

Certainly we have times of greater need than other times for increased intake from other Christians – such as when we are determining our course in church life, marriage, parenting, education, career, etc. I just happen to currently be in season when my focus is on carrying out what God has already given me to do. I don’t need more input right now in order to move forward.

Of course, balance is called for here. As I write, I’m in the middle of two books, but moving at a snail’s pace. I continue to value reading. Not only that, but Gerald and I will always strongly encourage our children to be lifelong readers. We also readily recommend books to others as we see needs.

So, for now, my reading is rather minimal, but I’ll just take it a day at a time. I’ll strive for balance as I consider my responsibilities and strive to be alert to needs that may call for increased reading.

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