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Thoughts about reading this post…

I subscribe to several Christian magazines, print: Christianity Today, Bible Study, and First Things. A problem I’ve always had with magazine reading is that I make them a lower priority than books. Typically, I’ve let magazines accumulate for many months, and then go on a magazine reading frenzy. I need to stop this! There are significant benefits of reading magazines (and newspapers) as opposed to the internet.

I decided on a strategy for 2022: that I’d read books the first 3 weeks of each month and magazines the last week. This went well in January, but the last week of February I ended up reading almost nothing at all, so that threw me off. But this current week of March I am focusing on magazine reading, so hopefully I can get back on track. I am the type of person that needs flexibility, so I may opt for choosing one week of each month (whatever one works out) for magazines.

Regarding books…so many books, not enough time! But perhaps this is an excuse? There are some lengthy sets of books I’d like to read, such as a multi-volume systematic theology or the collected works of the puritan John Owen. This seems formidable!

BUT THEN I GOT TO THINKING…such authors WROTE all this thoughtful content. Writing is much more time-consuming than reading! Think of the prolific authors out there. They can write it, but we can’t find time to read it?

This challenged me! Perhaps you too. We live in an age where so much can distract us, and we waste precious time.

A word of clarification: more books are written and printed than ever before, and we can’t read it all. We need to thoughtfully and prayerfully consider what we want/need to read. We need to focus and prioritize certain books. This will be different for each of us, but make sure my Christian friends that you are choosing some books that help you grow in your knowledge of God.

The Scripture says we should be growing in our knowledge of God and that it takes effort (2 Peter 1).

Are you staying at the same “grade level” spiritually, never moving “up a grade” with what you read? Consider expanding your reading, choosing some books to challenge yourself.

What if your child’s teachers just kept them at the same grade level year after year, so they never progressed? You’d be upset. They can’t stay at the second grade forever. Unfortunately, we can do this with our spiritual lives. The author of Hebrews was concerned about the immaturity of the Christians he was writing to, and I’ll end with this word of challenge in chapter 5:

“We have much to say about this, but it is hard to make it clear to you because you no longer try to understand. 12 In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! 13 Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. 14 But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.”