I have a confession to make. There was a time I hated reading. Growing up, I was turned off by reading because I was self-conscience of reading out loud. Due to that, I skimmed the books I was suppose to read in my schooling or just guest on the answers for a test. When I was 21, a good friend and mentor encouraged me to start reading. When I told him that I didn’t like to, he encouraged me to start reading for 15 minutes a day. I took his advice, and literally had a timer set for 15 minutes and when it was done, I was done reading. Fast forward eight years, and now I love reading! You might be asking, what changed? Here are five reasons why I went from hating books to loving books.
1.) Finding My True “Why”:
Growing up, did you ever ask your teachers why you needed to read the book that was assigned to you? I’m not sure what response you received, but I heard “Because it’s a part of the curriculum” or “Because I said so”. No lie, those answers never motivated me to read. When I came in contact with my friend at the age of 21, he asked me what I wanted to accomplish in my life. I told him I felt called to lead people and help them grow into the person God created them to be. He responded by saying, “That’s is why you must read”. When I understand and reminded myself of “why” I must read, I looked at reading as an adventure to seek wisdom and truth to help myself and others. Proverbs 16 talks about this adventure:
“How much better to to get wisdom then gold! To get understanding is to be chosen rather than silver.”-Proverbs 16:16
If you are someone who claims to hate reading, I would encourage you to ask yourself what do you want to accomplish in your life, and let that be the driving force for you to start reading.
2.) I Chose What I Wanted To Read:
There are so many books published that it’s impossible to read them all. As I understood my “why” to read and recognized I had the freedom to choose what I wanted to read, it made reading more exciting! I love reading about leadership, history/biographies, historical fiction, and theology. Now some of you may think those books sound boring, but ask yourself these two questions; “What do I want to learn more about and does it line up with my “why”?
3.) Learning From The Best:
I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not the smartest or most intellectual person out there. Big words scare me and I would rather keep things simple. With that being said, I recognized that reading from those who have walked the path before me discussed complex items or situations and simplified it. To me, that’s true genius. Now, I’m not saying we should “dumb down” everything, because the bible does tells us that we should be “growing up”, but I I do believe complexity keeps people in bondage to the “experts”. Unfortunately that is why I see (in America at least) too many people dependent on others thinking for them instead of thinking for themselves. God didn’t create robots, He create human beings with the freedom to think for themselves.
4.) Understanding The Past To Prepare For The Future:
George S. Patton once said “Prepare for the unknown by studying how others in the past have coped with the unforeseeable and unpredictable.” Ultimately, if we want to prepare for the future, we must study the past. As a Christian, I believe I those who proclaim to follow Jesus Christ have a responsibility to be in the Word of God every day. Why? The number one reason is because you recognize that the book doesn’t save us, but the Man in which the book is about has saved us. The second reason is because you understand the history of mankind and where it is going. Daniel, a loyal servant to God, recognized this;
“In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, by descent a Mede, who was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans— in the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, perceived in the books the number of years that, according to the word of the Lord to Jeremiah the prophet, must pass before the end of the desolations of Jerusalem, namely, seventy years.”-Daniel 9:1-2
If we want to prepare for the future, we must understand the past.
Finally, the reason I went from hating books to loving books is because I found myself growing, which gave others permission to grow. When it comes to reading, I’m not looking for knowledge for knowledge sack. When I read, I’m intentionally looking for principles that can help me and those around me grow. I remember a few years ago, a Pastor to a church I attended said “The person you are in 2015 should be better then the person you are in 2014.” What he was saying is that we should be growing, and if we aren’t then we should be worrying. If we aren’t growing then we are decaying, and I believe books (when principles are applied) help us grow spiritually, relationally, financially, physically, etc.
As we close out 2020 and head into 2021 ask yourself this, “Am I concisely deciding to grow or am I decaying?” Which ever way you answer, I encourage to start or continue growing. Like my friend and mentor told me, start 15 minutes a day, and see what happens.
-Michael A. Kubus
If you liked this post or love reading, leave a comment below. I would love to hear your story on how you formed the habit of reading, why you choose to read, or what subjects you tend to read about.
In my last post, Changes, I mentioned that I’ll be recommending a book for you all to read. I believe as leaders we are to be readers and I know there were times I didn’t know what I should read. These book recommendations are to help make it a little easier for you to decide on what to read! Below is my latest recommendation:
I started reading Timothy Keller’s book, Jesus The King, by accident. I saw it on the book shelf at the office of the church I served at and asked to borrow it. The moment I started reading it, I couldn’t put it down! Tim does a great job going through the Gospel of Mark and explaining how Jesus Christ proclaims He is the King the Jewish Scriptures predicted and the importance of Jesus going to the cross. If you need a book that will prepare you spiritually for 2021, this is the book for you!