Our boys are six years apart, so Nancy and I watched two different ages go through similar experiences. Both were in band during their high school years (six years apart!), and both enjoyed the competition in marching contests. Both searched the stands until they found us sitting and cheering them on. And both found us before their performances: Nancy chatting with friends and me usually reading a book! They often teased me, saying, “Dad never saw us march. He always had his nose in a book.” Well, why waste time? I liked what I was reading, and it seemed a good time to read!
This week, Nancy had a lengthy doctor’s appointment and a somewhat lengthy time in the grocery store. While waiting for her, I read a good book! Why waste time? I enjoyed reading from this old preacher, his sermons being true to God’s word and just as profitable now as when he wrote them more than sixty years ago. Reading helps us learn, and the apostle Paul, by inspiration, commended we “give attention to reading, exhortation, and doctrine.” (1 Timothy 4:13). So why not read, and read GOOD stuff?
Sure, I have interests in various things, but because of my love for truth and righteousness, not the least of my interests is in the older writings of faithful men who taught others (cf. 2 Timothy 2:2). Solomon said there is no end to the making of books, and that much learning is a weariness of the flesh (Ecclesiastes 12:12). So, limiting ones’ reading to GOOD stuff is critical to what his mind will hold as “valued.” Why waste my time reading things that profit me nothing, or things that gender strife, or confusion, or worse, promote falsehoods? Some ask, “But don’t you want to be ‘0pen minded’ and even look at comparative arguments?” Frankly, NO! With God’s truth and righteousness, I have all things pertaining to life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3). If what I read from man contradicts God, then I just put a line through man’s writings and a notation of scripture proving why I don’t agree!
I muse on the multitude of books I’ve read through the years and the ones that truly are the best of “good stuff!” I think I can count sixty-six of them, all bound in one volume called the BIBLE. Oh yes, I’ve read hundreds more about the Bible and its content; but they aren’t nearly as good or as exciting reading as God’s book! And while they are often challenging to my mind, and help me learn, if they don’t agree with God’s then I don’t need it!! I’ll stick with reading GOOD stuff!