Reading Can Help Us Do Hard Things

How do you do something you’ve never done before or don’t know how to do well?

One great answer is to find a mentor to disciple you, and you should seek out opportunities to disciple and be discipled.  One way that you can be discipled is by reading the work of thoughtful Christians who share their insights from successes, failures, and reflection on God’s word.   Ecclesiastes 10:10 says, “If the ax is dull  and its edge unsharpened, more strength is needed, but skill will bring success.”

Here are recommendations from the Distributed Library:

Forgiveness by John MacArthur –Brad preached to us on June 26th about how to forgive those who have hurt us and Jake on June 19th about how to accept God’s forgiveness.  Forgiveness can be very hard to give or recieve.  But, as we see in Matt. 6, forgiveness is not optional for a Christian.  “The greatest measuring rod of love in the life of a Christian may be forgiveness, because God showed His love to us in terms of forgiveness.”

Operation World by Jason Mandryk – Our media sources typically have a short attention span and a skewed focus.  God will, through his Word, brought by his church, rescue men and women from every nation (Rev 5:9, 7:9).  This book helps you think and pray knowledgeably for the world.

Toxic Charity: How Churches and Charities Hurt Those They Help, And How to Reverse It by Robert Lupton – The church is called to bless the world, but often fails.  The author calls us away from good intentions and self focus to thoughtful partnership that builds up the poor.  The easy choices are thoughtless harm to the poor, or selfish disconnection.  Jesus calls us to more than this.

When Helping Hurts: Alleviating Poverty Without Hurting The Poor…And Ourselves by Fikkert, Corbett, Campbell –If you read nothing else in this book, read the story on page 151.  This book is invaluable for correcting assumptions and clarifying goals.  We need to not evaluate outreach based on how it makes us feel but on how we honor God and give care, not primarily money.