I remember a couple years ago when I first got really into reading. I had only been reading what had been assigned to me in class or the Bible and/or Bible commentaries. My range of reading was highly limited. Then, I had a friend tell me to read The Fault In The Stars.
For those of you who don’t know, this book is a tragic love story geared towards young adults. It was an extremely popular book, which then became an equally popular movie. When I first began reading it, I was instantly captured by the immense detail of beautiful, yet painful, love that was spread out across those pages. I had never had a reading experience like that. In short, it was the best book I had ever read. I was inspired, emotionally touched, and motivated to read many more books, which I did. This is what reading is supposed to be like.
Reading is important for everyone, especially for the Christian. What makes reading more important for the Christian? God has revealed Himself in many ways throughout history: through a human prophet like Moses, through signs and miracles, through Jesus Christ. These are ways God has revealed Himself in the past and all these revelations were physically witnessed by people. However, we aren’t privileged to have witnessed these events first-hand, but we do have a written account of them recorded in the Bible.
The Bible is a book composed by over forty different human authors, yet all guided by God to pen the words He desired to be written. Each of these forty authors had unique experiences and personalities, which influenced the way God used them to write their specific books. This is where have a skill of reading comes into play.
Reading can be enjoyable, inspirational, emotional, but it can also be difficult. The many difficulties of reading are learning new words, the authorial intent, the use of metaphors or similes, the role of genre in interpretation, and the importance of context. That’s just a handful of the difficulties, since there’s many more. Reading is difficult, but it pays off in the long run, especially for Christians.
Make a habit of reading more than the just the minimal everyone does (road signs, television newscast ticker, etc.). Reading will not only help you to understand the Bible more deeply, but it will also help you to experience more of what life has to offer. You will discover a whole new world when you pick up a book.
A famous author once said, “A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one.”