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This Is a BORING Read…

Maybe. I want to get you thinking. I even want to excite you. God has given you a gift. In this very moment, you may not even realize it, but the gift you are using is so unimaginable and gloriously complex, yet it’s so stunningly simple.

Words.
Reading.
Literacy.

God has given you literacy. Something we all take for granted. Have you paused recently to thank God for that teacher that drilled phonics or made you trudge through Beowulf? When was the last time that you were “knocked over” by an author’s sheer power of
the pen? Have you thought that the gift of reading for you was not just a means of survival but a passport into lands that you have yet to discover?

Literacy is not just neurotically processing letters, spaces and punctuation. It is the stepping-stone to thoughts. Some thoughts utterly underwhelming; while others life-changing. Lately, I’ve been reading a book on… reading (go figure, right?!). You should
read it, too. Tony Reinke says in his book Lit!: “The gift of literacy is more profound than merely mastering literacy techniques, improving comprehension, and learning to speed-read. Fundamentally, literacy is a spiritual discipline that must overcome the spiritual darkness [ignorance] that veils us.”
Why read? Here are two reasons to chew on:


1. Because the Christian faith is a Word faith. How did creation come to be? By the simple words of God. He spoke, and it was. Probably one of the most used phrases in both testaments of the Bible is: “[God] said.” God “upholds the universe by the word of his power” (Hebrews 1:3). That great blessing of our salvation, justification, is none other than a declaration from God. We are made right with God by his very word. Jesus is called the Word (John 1:1-2).
2. Because the history of the world has hung on words. A lie in a garden. A curse to a snake. A dictator. A religious impostor. A space program. A declaration of freedom. Law(s). “I do.” A favorite brand slogan.

The truth is words can do much more than sticks or stones ever will. Stay tuned for more on reading and the Christian…

Posted by Will Pareja with

Part 2: Clearing the Ground

Last time, we were reminded that we’ve all been given the amazing gift of literacy. We answered ‘why read?’ by proposing that Christianity is a ‘Word’ faith and that world history has been hung on words. There are many other reasons that I hope will compel
you to read. 

For some, the most important reading you need and could start with is a regular diet of Bible reading. That is, reading right out of the Holy Book, not commentaries or pamphlets on it. There is nothing wrong with good devotionals, etc., but you need
direct exposure to the Sun. Above all, read Scripture. But the appeal of this series is that we should go beyond Scripture in our reading bearing in mind Tony Reinke’s advice that: “Scripture is the ultimate grid by which we read every book” (Lit!, p. 26).

With that important preface, we now should spend some time clearing the ground. By that I mean, overcoming your objections and fears. Here are several examples: “I’ve no time; I’m a slow reader; I hate reading; I’m a visual person; I only like
to read for entertainment; I can’t afford to read; I just finished school, and need a break;
or, I’m too old to start a new habit.”
Do this: Write your excuse on a sheet of paper: Now, on a non-windy day, go outside and light a match to that piece of paper. After it burns up, step on the ashes of that paper. Video record if necessary or invite a friend or two over to witness this victory,
pray and then go inside and crack open that book. Be done with that excuse.

While that ceremony will not change you into a voracious reader nor instantly rid you of obstacles, etc., the point is that before you turn over this new leaf you ought to tenaciously confront the worst obstacle to the personal growth that reading affords—yourself. Remember: reading isn’t just a human thing. It’s inherently Christian. The Apostle Paul wanted to read till his dying day. While he was on death row, he wrote to his son in the faith: “When you come, bring… also the books, and above all the parchments (2 Timothy 4:13).”

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