Kingdom citizens are called to love God with all of their minds (Matt 22:37). They are called to be people of understanding, for “the wise lay up knowledge” (Prov 10:14, ESV). Part of the stewardship that comes with Kingdom citizenship is that of thinking.
Thinking about God.
Thinking about His world.
Thinking about His mission in His world and our place in that mission.
And loving God with our minds and laying up knowledge should involve the thinking that comes from reading.
Those who think, read.
Whenever I go a while without extensive reading and thought, I can feel it. It is like the feeling that comes to people who have longstanding exercise routines interrupted for some extended period. They begin to have a strange internal omission, a stressor they are unable to put their fingers on until they hit their treadmills. Once they hit them, they feel an immediate relief and satisfaction. An ahhh moment.
If we are too busy to think, then we are too busy. And if we are too busy to read, then we are too busy.
Make sure to practice:
Regular reading. Read often. Not sporadically. Not when you “have” to. Make yourself develop this healthy practice.
Diverse reading. Read different authors, including those with whom you disagree. Read different genres (I don’t like fiction. However, I just finished a novel two nights ago and went to the library today to get two more.).
Reflective reading. Read and think. Ask as you read:
- What can I learn on the surface?
- How should I think theologically and missiologically about what I am reading (especially with secular literature)? How can I make application to my life (what to take on, not do, change, believe, reject, etc., Ultimately, what would the Lord have me do with this?).
- What can I learn from this author’s writing style and organization of the contents of this book to apply to my writing style (Yes! You must write and tell today’s stories later today.)
As a steward in the Kingdom, take advantage of the blessing of reading, access to literature, and ability to think critically for the sake of reaching the 4 billion.