People can grow spiritually in a number of ways: Spending ample time in prayer, listening to a weekly (meaty) sermon, discussing doctrine with friends, acts of service, and many others. But I’m convinced that reading is at the top of the list.
Reading the Bible and other Christian books has the following advantages when it comes to spiritual growth:
- Reading promotes meditation, and meditation is really where heart-level change happens. When reading, most people are intently focused on the words and what they mean.
- Reading allows us to take in more information than we receive from most sermons, lectures, and discussions. The written form allows an author to present an argument in its entirety, and thus the nitty-gritty details of a particular topic can be considered by the reader.
- Reading is an amazing way to spend extra time. It is so much better than watching movies, TV, or sports, and it can be just as entertaining as these. Plus, when people use their extra time reading, they will not be using that time to engage in sinful activities.
Since I believe so strongly in reading as a major method of growing in the Lord, I am happy to see Tony Reinke, a staff writer at Desiring God, providing the world with his list of the top 16 books of 2016. Reinke says:
“Reading opens our lives to benefit from a range of content, and prepares us to serve others by linking helpful books to the needs and interests of those around us.”
I haven’t been able to read most of the books on Reinke’s list, but I am currently reading one of them, A Peculiar Glory by John Piper, which I highly recommend. I do hope to tackle more over the next weeks and months. I hope you will pick one or two of these and join me!
You may also be interested in one of my books called Drowning Swine. Though this one won’t make anyone’s list of top books, I am grateful to hear that it has helped a number of folks in their walk with the Lord. That’s what its all about!