Study and be eager and do your utmost to present yourself to God approved (tested by trial), a workman who has no cause to be ashamed, correctly analyzing and accurately dividing [rightly handling and skillfully teaching] the Word of Truth.
—2 Timothy 2:15 (AMP)
I love reading the Bible. If there is one book I can read over and over and constantly learn from it, it is the Bible. It’s the compass of my life. I can always look to the Word to help me make sound decisions. It’s always a comfort to me. The Bible is total true about our humanness – it doesn’t hide anything. It expresses the human heart and as well as God’s heart. Reading the Bible as well as other good books has helped me grow in my Christian walk.
I would certainly encourage you to develop the habit of reading every day. It would help you progress through life as well as bring other benefits. Reading good books can:
1. Ignite your imagination.
A novel or a book that includes storytelling helps you to create a vivid picture in your mind. This makes the process of reading more real to you. The material becomes more enjoyable and easier to remember when you put your imagination into action.
2. Help you develop ideas.
Whether you are reading a fiction or non-fiction book ideas can quickly surface to your mind. Ideas related to personal improvement, career or business development, building your family life, growing in your Christian walk or other area of your life. Reading can help you develop ideas that effect positive change in your life or other people lives.
3. Increase your knowledge base.
The beauty of a book is that it is a quick study on a specific subject area. You can learn from the experiences of others and from the hours of research the author invested into his/her work of writing. What may have taken you hours, days or months of effort to research is compiled for you. With a book in hand you it will take you less time to gain the knowledge and understanding on any topic of importance to you.
4. Develop your communication skills.
One thing is sure, the more you read, the better a command of the language you gain. Reading makes you a better communicator. If you’re not confident in writing or speaking, regular reading will sharpen these skills.
5. Be a form of relaxation or therapy.
That may seem weird to some because we often associate reading with studying. But personally, reading is a pleasure for me and most of (if not all) my free time is reading time. I don’t read the comics or the novels that would be considered light material but once I read within my scope of interests I enjoy it. That’s why I often end my days with a cup of tea and a good book or the Bible before going to sleep.
6. Bring success and God’s approval.
When you read and make careful and discipline study of God’s word, you are approved by God (2 Timothy 2:15). God is pleased when we make a strong effort to learn of Him and draw close to Him. Not only that, one of the essentials to a successful and prosperous life is to read the Word of God day and night, to meditate on it and to do what God says in His Word (Joshua 1:7-8). Every successful person reads. Reading is an important element of personal growth and success.
It is often said that when you stop reading, you stop learning and growing. Since you and I don’t want to live a stagnated life, we must develop or keep up the habit of reading.
Here are some of the ways you can keep the reading habit alive:
- Set aside time every day to read – early in the morning, at lunch, or before bedtime.
- Maximize your time while you are on the go – read on the train or bus, on the airplane, or wherever you know you’ll have at least half hour of reading time. Plan ahead for these opportunities to read.
- Consider other alternatives to reading – listen to an audio book, view an infographic or watch the video of a book (I liked The Ultimate Gift).
- Take advantage of technology. Apart from the printed books you can now read books on e-readers, mobile phone, tablets. Take your pick.
- Have a copy of a book wherever you go. Again it’s easy to carry books around thanks to technology but I often have a hard copy book with me if technology fails me or I just prefer to have the feel of a book in my hands.
- Challenge yourself. Set a goal to read at least one book a month or two books a month if you like. Even if you fall behind in keeping up, a few hours of dedicated reading time can bring you back in line.
My challenge to you this week:
Choose a book that you’ve wanted to read for a long time and assign a time to read it every day. Share what you’re reading along the way with family or friends.
I am sure there are other ways reading can improve your life that I haven’t mentioned. Please share how the habit of reading has benefited you. I’d love to hear from you.