So many books, so little time! I am an avid reader and passionate book lover. Two stacks of next-in-line books to read tower beside my nightstand (yes, I had to stack them on the floor because they were so tall). My personal library shelves are filled with at least a couple hundred books I want to read. Yet, I still buy books and visit my public library on a regular basis in search for more books.
Just having a special book in my possession feels almost as good as reading it. I continue the search for the treasure books that will give me a grand epiphany, increase my wisdom and understanding, or inspire me in my walk with Jesus.
I keep reminding myself that all the wisdom, counsel, and understanding I need for life and death is found in a single bound book. The meaning is always the same but the way I perceive it and apply it is diverse, depending on my frame of mind and circumstances at the time. I love books, but my Bible is my greatest treasure.
It’s okay to read books besides the Bible. When we read commentaries and books that help us mine the jewels buried in the Bible, we join with the community of believers, dialoguing with those who have studied a passage, topic, or aspect. We were meant to understand the Bible as a community, and we are arrogant if we think we don’t need anyone else who is spirit-filled to deepen our understanding or provide perspective. Because we are sinful, we have blind spots and need others to be our eyes in those areas. Even a whole generation can have blind spots, so it is wise to read those of previous decades and centuries.
Periodically, I find myself so consumed with the reading of books, that I have neglected God’s own words. I resolve to beware that the reading of many books does not become my idol and that the Bible will always come first, which in itself is the greatest library I have in God.