My Faculty has a new Dean. His discomfort with the usual style of things evidently shows the fact that he’s not from around here at all. Part of what He is clearly not happy about is the kind of books we read for our courses. In one of our classes, he lamented bitterly about the inadequacy of the books we read particularly considering the calibre of people who have authored these books. He concluded by saying the faculty would release a list of recommended texts for students beginning from the next session. [I’ll be out of here then!]
Mark Twain once observed: “A person who won’t read has no advantage over one who can’t read.” It is the reality of this truth that we talked about last week.
This week I want to attempt to provide an answer to the question of what you should read. I would not be providing a list of recommended texts. I will only provide a guide as to the kind of books you should read especially with regards to your pursuit of purpose. I’ll share with you my own best reads. Perhaps, you’ll be willing to start from there.
Generally, you should read anything that is readable. First, because there is no irrelevant knowledge. Knowledge is not only to be used as part of your lifestyle, it can be stored for days of need. You never can tell when you’ll need the knowledge of a subject. If you have the opportunity to read about that subject now, please do. Second, you must learn to read wide. That way, you are fit to make meaningful contributions to discussions on any platform anywhere as you preach your life’s message.
However, I have come to agree that there are quite a lot of junks out there packaged in prints and on the social media. You have to learn to distinguish such materials so that you don’t spend too much time on them. But then, read anything, no matter how junky they are- at least to be able to objectively call them “junks.”
There are three categories of books (or materials) I want to suggest you read for the edification of your mind in the pursuit of your God-intended Purpose.
Because God-discovery is the primary key to Purpose discovery and a fulfilling pursuit, the Bible (most importantly) and other books on spirituality are the first category of books I think you should read. The Word of God is the key to the fulfilment of your destiny. There is something written concerning you in the Scriptures, you have to read to find it.
Books written to address matters relevant to the Christian living, spirituality and written solely on the authority of the Scriptures are above necessary for you to feed on. I have personally found books like Jack Taylor’s Life’s Limitless Reach (on the subject of Prayer); Joyce Meyer’s Change Your Words, Change Your Life (on the impact of words), Myles Munroe’s God’s Big Idea (On God’s master plan for the universe) among several others very impactful.
In the second category are books relevant to the specific matter of your vision and life assignment. These are books that expand your understanding of the problem you believe you have been called to solve as well as educate you on what people have done in that area prior to your arrival. They may be books written in your career or profession or books written by your mentor or discipler. As much you should read wide, I believe you should read deep too. Like they say, you should know something about everything and everything about something. Rick Warren’s bestselling Purpose Driven Life is my best read in this regard. Eric Rees’ S.H.A.P.E, Myles Munroe’s In Charge, Mike Murdock’s The Assignment and Cindy Jacobs’ Reformation Manifesto are others that have equipped me for what I do.
The third category of books I recommend you read are every other books your hand finds to read. For me, novels (Fiction and Non-fiction), Biographies and Autobiographies, Magazines and publications from other fields belong to this category. Some of my best reads here include, Nancy Rue’s Tristan Gap, Eric Wilson’s The Best of Evil and Ellie Kay’s Living Rich for Less.
On the whole, your dedication to growth is a discipline. Reading is a reflection of this dedication. Thus, as the old Irish proverb says, “You’ve got to do your own growing, no matter how tall your grandfather is!” I want to challenge you to be committed to building your own personal library, as well as buy, read and give out a book every month or as regular as you may decide!
What kind of books do you read? What guides your choice? Share your thoughts with me. Just drop a comment!
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