Accumulating books

Most people know the Bible is the best-selling book of all time. It’s estimated that people have bought more than five billion copies of the Holy Bible. There’s no way any other book will surpass the Bible in our lifetime or any others soon to come.

Praise God!

But we also need some help from God. Even with such a high number of copies sold, is the Bible the most read?

I have my guesses. What do you think?

Did you know there’s a word for buying books you don’t read? It’s a Japanese word: Tsundoku. According to Wikipedia, the word joins two ideas. Piling up and books. So, tsundoku is when you’re good at accumulating books, but, for whatever reasons, don’t get around to reading them.

Of course, reading the Bible is different than reading other material. I can finish some books in a day. I’ll never try to do that with the Bible. We’re meant to read scripture through prayer and study, alone and with the fellowship of the church.

I know I must’ve written and preached before about this. When you read or listen to a daily devotional, do you tend to focus more on the devotion or the scripture text? To be sure, the person’s application is helpful. It’s good to hear a believer’s testimony or discover how others have engaged a Bible passage.

Use those insights to draw yourself back to the text itself. As you do, you’ll have your own engagement with a passage and make your own discoveries. Believe me, those are meaningful moments in your walk with God.

Last year, a Lifeway study found that 32% of American Protestants read the Bible every day. This burdens my heart. There’s a lot we can say about why the church is in the condition it is today. So, I don’t mean to oversimplify things, but our lack of thoughtful engagement with scripture has to be one of the main culprits.

There has never been a time when access to scripture was so abundant as it is today. But we haven’t taken advantage of that blessing.

If we aren’t engaged with scripture, what is shaping our worldview? what other resources are we relying on to influence our judgments and the direction of our lives? what else are we watching or who are we listening to instead of the voice of God heard in scripture? 

It’s okay to buy books you never intend to read. Let them fill your shelves and tabletops. Use them as furniture or mounts for your laptops. But let the Bible be the book that finds it way to your heart each day. 

Stay blessed…john

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