“But you, Daniel, keep this prophecy a secret; seal up the book until the time of the end, when many will rush here and there and knowledge will increase.” Daniel 12:4

Are you amazed at the rapidly growing number of books and authors in our days? It is no surprise because the Bible states that knowledge will increase in the last days. We see a characteristic of the time of the end, from that verse- many will rush here and there.

In reading Christian books, there is a tendency to carry on to it, this trait of the last days i.e. almost always being in a rush. This need not be the case. Reading Christian literature is a very gainful venture and in this article, we offer some tips on making the best of the decision to read them.

Christian literature and supplements (vitamin and mineral supplements) have a few things in common. In making a comparison, Christian literature is the supplement, while the Bible is the main food. We will carry out this comparison between supplements and Christian literature to highlight some best practices of reading Christian books.

  1. Supplements can help us digest our food better, make better use of the nutrients we get from food; or even augment the work that food does in the body, but they cannot replace food.

So also, reading Christian books is an add-on to reading the Bible, and never a replacement for reading the Bible and meditating on it.

  1. Supplements are best used with the guidance of experts such as Physicians, pharmacists, and those with the right experience.

In the same manner, Christian literature is better selected with the guidance of those who have more experience. For example, if you have a mentor or someone who helps you in your discipleship to Jesus, they can give you recommendations of what books and authors are best to read for your Christian walk. It is also helpful to read recommendations from other believers, especially mature believers.

  1. Supplements have specific guidelines on their usage. Some need to be taken on an empty stomach, others with food; some in the morning and others at night.

So also, there is a right time and season for reading a book. It is best to read literature that is relevant to what God is doing in your life currently, or your situation. By so doing, you can be truly built up, inspired and supported. It will also be a good use of your time is you gain maximally from a book that you read because you can relate to what is discussed in the book.

  1. In some cases, supplements can pose serious health risks, such as when a person is allergic to one or more of the ingredients; when it is wrongly labeled; when there is a manufacturing glitch; or other causes.

In the same way, some books, even when labeled as Christian books may harbor the potential of taking a disciple of Christ off course. A firm foundation in the truth of God’s word will help the sincere believer in Christ to discern between the truth and false teachings or wrong beliefs being expressed as truth. To avoid such potential pitfalls, it is important that you are conversant with what the Bible teaches.

  1. In between one dose of supplement and another, there is a duration of time. This way, the body can properly process what has been taken in. Failure to observe this wait could lead to overloading the system and possibly damaging some organs.

It is ideal and helpful to take time to reflect on the messages shared in what book has been read. Just as God speaks to His children when they read the Bible, He speaks to them when they read Christian literature.  It is important to give some time to meditate on what has been read, so as to imbibe the lessons learned and carry out the obedience that God expects.

  1. Supplements that do not get absorbed in the digestive system only belabor the body. Such will be passed out as waste after using up some of the body’s energy.

Truth from God’s word, either from the Bible or Christian literature gets absorbed into our inner man through the work of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit takes mere words, gives us revelation knowledge and insight into those words, and they become life changing, life-transforming and life-enhancing truths for us. It is important to ask for insight from the Lord when reading a book so that one can grasp what the Lord is passing across as a message through the author.

  1. Supplements are of different grades and quality. Some are more highly recommended than others.

In the same way, Christian books and authors tackle different aspects of life with different levels of competence. It can take considerable time to go through a book, especially one which addresses weighty matters. You would do well to ensure that the time spent is used to acquire quality information and insight. A piece of good advice would be that you should gravitate towards authors who help you to become better at being who God has created and saved you to be; do what God has called you to do, and have what God has called you to have.

A prolific and highly recommended Christian author, Watchman Nee said, “When one tries to increase his knowledge by doing mental gymnastics over books without waiting upon God and looking to the guidance of the Holy Spirit, his soul is plainly in full swing. This will deplete his spiritual life. Because the fall of man was occasioned by seeking knowledge, God uses the foolishness of the cross to "destroy the wisdom of the wise.” Noteworthy advice, isn’t it?

When God is involved, the reading of Christian literature will yield the right fruits.

Here’s to more optimal Christian literature reading! God bless you!