A book worth reading
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. (Philippians 4:8)
How many books published each year are worth reading? How many are noble and pure?
Most are utterly empty, they give us short term pleasure but do not make us wiser or better. They leave no trace of beauty, no inspiration, no vision of loveliness, no impulses towards higher things and no enrichment.
Some are harmless and leave no debris in our minds, in fact they are quickly forgotten as we move onto another mindless book. However some do leave lots of debris and they linger and draw us into other books that are also full of moral decay.
Many people make no choice in what they read - they read what they enjoy whether it is bad or good. However, as Christians we should take much more care in what we select off the shelves, we should ask ourselves a few questions about the content of the book — is it mindless reading or will it impact valuable knowledge, or set before us some ideal of beauty, strength, or nobility of character.
Many Christian ladies read Christian romances thinking they are a better alternative to non-Christian literature. But be warned — that isn’t necessarily the case. I found a interesting blog post by Anna Joy of “Path through the Narrow Gate” and I want to share some of the points she makes:
1. Christian romance novels set us up for unrealistic expectations in our own marriages — how many Christian novel have strong, masculine men that are sensitive and rugged, kind and strong, meeting the heroine’s every need? These men don’t exist and we get upset when our husbands don’t live up to our romantic expectations.This same imagine of men can be found in almost any type of romance novel, Christian and non-Christian.
2. Christian romance novels encourage us to fantasise about other men — Anna Joy gives an excellent example of this in her blog and its true, some Christian romance can be quite raunchy.
3. Christian romance novels often mix Biblical truths with lies—one example Anna Joy gives is this “The unrealistic expectations that these novels create are lies. The ability of the main characters to place themselves in the way of temptation and yet come out unscathed is also a lie.”
4. Christian romance novels often do not celebrate the good and pure — we need to always be on the look out for good and pure literature and its harder to find than you think!
5. Christian romance novels often pull us away from God’s Word and other books that would encourage us to grow spiritually—how many have been so hocked on a romance novel they just can’t put it down, I have so I know this one to be very true. We think because it is Christian literature it is ok to read, but it is no different to any other book, it takes us away from spending time with Gods word.
We need to be more picky when we select a book to read — I am guilt as anyone and want to take far more care this year in what I read and what I knock back.
When we think of the influence which our reading has upon our lives, we see at once the importance of selecting only books that are worth while. At the best, none of us can read one book in a thousand of those which are within our reach. Manifestly this one book ought, then, to be the best in all the thousand. (J.R. Miller)