Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Do you take you ability to read for granted?

 




All photos courtesy of Storyblocks

In Western culture, we almost take the ability to read for granted! Reading is such a basic requirement for life. 
The fact you understand what I am talking about in this article means that you can read! Essentially, it means that you can translate the squiggles and strokes on the page. If I am incapable of writing well or of expressing my ideas, then you may read the words but have no idea what I'm trying to say. Therefore, reading with understanding is vital. 


When reading the Book of Revelation, I came across three words that are vital when communicating. They are 'read,' hear,' and 'keep.'  To read means literally to know again, distinguish between, or recognise.  In other words, reading isn't just about looking at the words but understanding and retaining what they mean at a deeper level. To hear also has a deeper meaning than just hearing sounds but to listen, understand, and attend to. The last word, keep, has the idea of watching, guarding from, keeping your eye on and preserving the information. 
These ideas can be applied to any genre of reading material, but they do have special significance in the context in which they were written. The Bible brings a message to humanity that is of immense significance and demands reading, hearing and keeping in the truest sense of the words. 


Here is a Bible verse that shows the significance of hearing God's word and the danger of ignoring it. 
Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgement, but has passed from death to life,’ John 5:24
One of the dangers of technological advancement, and there are many advantages, is that people are lured away from reading. Gene Edward Veigh, in his excellent book 'Reading between the lines', says, ‘The habit of reading is absolutely critical today, particularly for Christians. As television turns our society into an increasingly image-dominated culture, Christians must continue to be people of the Word. When we read, we cultivate a sustained attention span, an active imagination, a capacity for logical analysis and critical thinking, and a rich inner life. Each of these qualities, which have proven themselves essential to a free people, is under assault in our TV-dominated culture. Christians, to maintain their Word-centered perspective in an image-driven driven world, must become readers’. Veigh’s book was written in the television era, but the same principles apply in the internet age.
I appeal to you to read widely and, in particular, the Bible? It will be your salvation as far your mind is concerned and, I pray, it will be the means of your eternal well-being and salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. 
The good book says, ‘the holy scriptures . . . are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus’.
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