The Power of Godly Books
Books are power. Reading engages our minds and our emotions. What we digest changes us. The books we choose to read affect us either negatively or positively. In my life, God has used literature to open my spiritual eyes. Over the course of my high school education at home, a few Godly books in particular have changed my life for the better.
In ninth grade, I read Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis. The spiritual realm opened before my eyes. For the first time, I realized that everything is a spiritual battle, that my everyday decisions have eternal impact. A year later, I read Lewis’s Mere Christianity. Suddenly, my faith was logical and concrete. I knew what I believed and why. Lewis equipped me to both understand and share my faith. Christy by Catherine Marshall and Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte showed me the miraculous consequences of unconditional love and gave me the desire to love others like Christ does. Last summer, I revisited C.S. Lewis with Perelandra. Through this book, the Holy Spirit opened my eyes wider to the spiritual realm: the Fall of Man and the consequences of sin were dire—but the promise of Salvation was dazzlingly beautiful and amazingly real. This year for school, I read Dante’s Inferno and Milton’s Paradise Lost. Dante shocked me. Hell became real. People around me became its future occupants. Grace and mercy became essential. Evangelism became necessary. Milton’s Paradise Lost set abstract concepts like the Fall of Man and God’s salvation plan right in front of my eyes. Because I gained a logical, concrete context in which to picture Biblical concepts, my faith grew in leaps and bounds. I believed in and loved God like never before. Bible stories had new colors and new reality. As I recently read through Genesis, Abram was no longer an over-used name, but a complex person. His sins were astonishing, his calling amazing, his faith astounding. Godly books opened my eyes to understand the Ultimate Book, the Bible.
God can use literature to open your eyes, too. Choose to read books that are morally beyond reproach. Choose to read Christian biographies, Bible commentaries, and spiritual-centered novels. Excellent, Godly books will surely feed both your spirit and mine. You will be refreshed, renewed, and enlightened. The Bible does not forbid secular novels - I have found, however, that they negatively influence my mind and heart. When I choose to read safe, strong literature, I guarantee myself intellectual and spiritual profit.