Reflections on Chapter 13 of Spiritual Leadership by Oswald Sanders.
I’m sitting here in my “office” within my home. I glanced about just after reading this chapter and before touching this keyboard. It’s not an enormous library by many standards but there are several books on the shelves. I’m a bit of a packrat, so there are lots of folders with loose pages from seminars I’ve attended. There are many paperback books, along with a few nicely bound hardback selections. Many of these are gifts – a set of Calvin’s Commentaries from an elderly Presbyterian minister; two sets on aviation history from my father-in-law; and others. There is a row of Bibles in many different versions. I’ll not bore you any further with a list.
As I write this my mind is carried back to a text I received a few days ago. It came from a native pastor in Zambia. This consecrated man, Macjustine Mbewe, and I have become friends. I’ve visited his home and was graciously invited to preach to his congregation on two diffent occasions. The surroundings were humble.
His text was concerning reading materials. He had attended a seminar sponsored by River of Life in Winnsboro, Louisiana and pastored by David Philips. Pastor Mbewe was relishing the experience and the conference materials. He mentioned to me that he still held on to some lessons I had shared in two minister’s conferences while in Zambia a few years back. They are printed on copier paper and stapled together. I have a lump in my throat- I’m humbled and grateful -that he still has these pages and refers to them.
I have another lump in throat as I glance around at all of these books at my disposal. Many of them I’ve only glanced through. I’m wondering today what valuable insights are still on those pages awaiting… I’m so blessed to have such access. I’m concerned that many like Pastor Mbewe do not.
I’ve often pondered what God will think of us, particularly we who speak English, on that day we as we are called before Him. We have an ever-increasing array of versions of the Bible. Some of them aim for a refinement of the elegant King James Version. Others stretch to make the vocabulary and style as broad as possible for all English readers. And, still others strive to bring the concepts into the most current vernacular and idioms of 2020. Publishers go to great lengths to relate to children and their skill levels. Then there is the boundless selection of study Bibles aimed at countless special groups. Yet, there are vast segments of people who don’t know The Scriptures and one the chief reason is they elect not to read.
Once again Dr. Sanders has adroitly laid out some insightful approaches as to selecting suitable books, absorbing them and gaining from them. Simple, direct, practical and needed.
The quote from Sir Francis Bacon is resounding, “Reading maketh a full man; speaking a ready man; writing an exact man.”
I hope we all will all take the advice of The Apostle Paul, “Give heed to reading” (1 Timothy 4:13 ASV).