“It is truth which we must look for in Holy Writ, not cunning of words. All Scripture ought to be read in the spirit in which it was written … Therefore we ought to read books which are devotional and simple, as well as those which are deep and difficult. And let not the weight of the writer be a stumbling-block to thee, whether he be of little or much learning, but let the love of the pure Truth draw thee to read. Ask not, who hath said this or that, but look to what he says.”
(The Imitation of Christ by Thomas A. Kempis, The First Book, page 8)
Charm and eloquence have always frightened me as they make for a potent combination, able to convince and manipulate the unsuspecting.
We are to be wise to looking at the writing style, popularity, or education of the one writing. Platforms and popularity should not be the deciding factor in who we read. In these days which we are living, many are sharing their thoughts and opinions but not everything shared is truth – God’s Truth.
Every word both read and written needs to tested against God’s Word:
- Does God’s Word support what is being written?
- Can the author back up their thoughts with Scripture?
As one who reads and shares on books, I constantly ask myself the above questions and then these as well:
- Am I leading people to books which will edify and grow them In God’s Word?
- Am I leading anyone astray in the books I help to promote?
We are not to let our love or enjoyment of an author’s word lead us to compromise on Truth. Thomas A. Kempis goes on to further state:
“Men pass away, but the truth of the Lord endureth forever.”
Authors and writers may come and go. But all of God’s words will be with us forever. His plans will all come to fruition. It is His Word alone which will never let us down nor fail us.
“The grass withers and the flowers fade beneath the breath of the Lord. And so it is with people. The grass withers and the flowers fade, but the word of our God stands forever.”
(Isaiah 40:8, NLT)
May we be wise and discerning in the words we read and absorb into our hearts and minds.
Seek truth always.