I love this old photo. How we need knowledge and the best wisdom of the ages! Making books available for children, for instance, is a critical work for creating an orderly and educated society. One wonders, with the advent of social media, if this is still a national priority.
The benefits of getting good books before the eyes of people are mountainous in proportion. For, as you well know, a book can change lives for good, or doom it to disappointment, evil actions, personal tragedy, and depression. An idea is a powerful thing. The nations turn on the axis of ideas, humanly speaking.
Think of The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx. I read this book myself this last year with my discerning glasses on. But many who read this in the past were not so wary. They read it predisposed to agree. This book shaped the history of the world. It convinced nations. It still has its world-bending effects.
I read a book 55 years ago that changed my life for every decade since. It was called George Müller of Bristol by A. T. Pierson. I remember where I sat when I read it—in front of the apartment at college. I remember how I felt. I remember what I said to God: “Lord, I want to be a man like this.” From that day forward, the life and teaching of this man of faith has guided me inasmuch as he followed Christ.
Burn or Warm
Certain books are like fire — they can either burn or they can warm. For this reason, Christians must be careful. And we must show extra care for our children who have little discernment about what they choose. Even to allow a child to roam a library, in our day, is quite dangerous.
Just a few weeks ago, while studying in the local library, I encountered a large display of perverse books for youth on gender transitioning. They had intriguing covers and inviting titles. They all presented as if all was positive about the matter. It was a month for lionizing such things nationwide. I was sickened.
I believe it was on the same day that I was sitting on the backside of the library when along came a young boy, perhaps ten years of age. He encountered the graphic novel section and started looking through books. You could see his eyes get wider. He left, but wandered back again. Then, he brought his brothers who looked at the same pictures. There was no hiding what was there — it surely contained something sexual. I wish I could have stopped it, for I knew what imprints were being made.
I remember a book that was read to me when I was four. The biblical concept stuck. What we read about molds our meditations and therefore our actions.
Above all of this about good books, think of what the best book, the Bible, will do. Read the stories of the Bible to your children and let them see you reading and thinking about the words of God. It makes a difference. Don’t waste your chance to feed their minds and their hearts!
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. (Philippians 4:8)
THE BOOK RESIDED
The book resided on the shelf.
No, not too strong a word,
For having first been opened to the light
Forty years internal night ensued,
Though once a finger touched its spine and paused.
The youth, enticed by title, size, its look,
Somewhat inclined to press its words upon his mind,
To lean his mind upon its words,
Yet passed his finger down the row to an inferior kind,
Which teased his eyes, but raped his mind.
So close his finger to those truths,
So bound his finger to his mind,
So near he came to wed the two,
So distant now the truth declined.
Copyright © 2001 Jim Ellliff