Remember the phrase “Garbage in, garbage out”? What you put into your body has a consequence. Eat healthily, and you will be healthy. Eat unhealthily, and you will be unhealthy. This applies to our inner world, too, our minds, our hearts, our emotions. So it is crucial to pay attention to what you are watching, reading, and listening to. If it is garbage – lies, ugliness, nastiness, and filth – then it will have an effect on you. The garbage will come out.
So we have this appeal in the Proverbs…
Listen to your father, who gave you life, and do not despise your mother when she is old.
Buy the truth and do not sell it— wisdom, instruction, and insight as well. Proverbs 23:22-23 NIV
How do we buy the truth and value it? How do we buy wisdom, instruction, and insight? One way is by reading books. We buy the truth by buying (literally) and buying into (reading) wholesome, instructional, and inspiring books. The “garbage in, garbage out” principle works for good too, Goodness in, good out.
So what good books are you reading?
Let me share with you some on my list from the past few months:
- The book of Nehemiah in the Bible. Just finished this read on leadership and being a peacemaker. Now I am going into the book of Esther, also in the Bible. That is an excellent read on courageously trusting God in the face of trials and danger.
- Love Your Enemies: How Decent People Can Save America From The Culture of Contempt by Arthur C. Brooks. Worth the read on applying Jesus’ call to love others different from us in a time of increasing strife. During my recent vacation, I read this book on my iPad, a great way to conserve space in my carry-on bag!
- Beyond Order: 12 More Rules For Life by Jordan Peterson. I loved Peterson’s first book, 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos. Heady stuff that I had to work through at a slower-than-usual pace.
- The Reckoning: Death and Intrigue in the Promised Land. A true detective story by Patrick Bishop. This book tells the story of Avraham Stern, a high-profile mastermind of a series of terrorist attacks in then-British-occupied Palestine in the 1940s. I found it provided some great insights into the Zionist movement and the establishment of modern-day Israel.
- The Chronicles of Narnia (all 7 seven books) by C.S.Lewis. While children’s books, there is plenty for adults to enjoy and ponder – particularly since Lewis was one of our time’s preeminent Christian thinkers.
- Live Not By Lies: A Manual for Christian Dissidents by Rod Dreher. Dreher interviewed several Christians who lived through the terrible communist totalitarian persecutions of the Soviet era. From their testimonies, Dreher provides a road map for Christians in the West who are now facing what he calls the “soft totalitarianism” of our time.
- Win at Work, Succeed at Life by Michael Hyatt and Megan Hyatt Miller. I have not read this book yet, but I am intrigued by the title and use Michael Hyatt’s work planners.
- Fault Lines: The Social Justice Movement and Evangelicalism’s Looming Catastrophe by Voddie T. Baucham, Jr. My wife, Shannon, an avid reader, recommended that I read this book. She regularly referenced it in our tea time chats, so it is on my to-be-read-soon list!
Reading good books is good for your soul. Make time to do it every day. Just one page a day over time will be such a benefit.
So, what ya reading?
Stop listening to instruction, my son, and you will stray from the words of knowledge. Proverbs 19:27 NIV