My wife and I alternate days when we read the bible to our children before bedtime. The other night I came in and was getting ready to read to them and found them all nose deep into a books series for kids. They had been reading this series because my oldest introduced them to it. Until now, I hadn’t thought much of it because, how bad could a kids book be? That was until I asked one of them what made them so mesmerizing.
As I started to read through a couple of pages I was troubled by the content of the book. It’s supposedly written from the point of view of a school child but the character is anything but child like. Page after page the character was demeaning other kids, speaking sarcastically, lying, belittling, irresponsible, using destructive words, etc. Any page at random displayed no redeeming quality. Needless to say this was going to stop but I used this as a teaching opportunity.
At the breakfast table the next morning I had each of them grab a copy of the book they were reading and select a page at random to read out loud. What a difference this made. When read out loud in front of others, the writing didn’t seem as funny or entertaining. They were becoming hesitant about reading the same words out loud for others to hear. I then asked them to read 1 Thessalonians 5:21 out loud followed up with the question “how do we test something?”. One of them answered quickly “By comparing something to something else.” “Very well” I said, “Let’s then use the word to test what the author of the book is telling us here”.
We went through various verses on goodness, kindness and humility. We the went back and evaluated these verse against the actions and words of the character in the book. They realized what was being said in the book was not in accordance with the word and decided for themselves they would no longer continue reading the books. Remember, a man cannot reap what he does not sow ( Galatians 6:7 ).
Our God has given us the ability and power of discernment if we only ask. It’s ours for the taking and using wisely.
We need to foster the desire and passion to seek truth which only comes from reading the word. The more we read, the more ammunition we have for the battle.
What will you do to you schedule your reading time and make it intentional?