Josh King is Lead Pastor of Sachse's First Baptist Church and a graduate of Criswell College and Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary. He lives in Wylie, Texas with his wife Jacki and their two young boys.
Personally, I think New Year's resolutions get a bad rap. Many people portray them as almost unbiblical and at odds with Jesus and the Gospel. I disagree. I find them to be useful, at least in terms of assessing one's life. I think it is healthy to look back, evaluate, and move forward.
Instead of adding things like diet, exercise, and reading, I am cutting stuff out. The most life changing, for me, will be reading. I have decided that in 2013, I will not read any new books. Crazy, right? I know, like most resolutions, I will probably fail at this sometime mid-February but my motivation is centered around changing my personal attitude through an attempt at reading less.
Those who know me know that I am an avid reader. I love books - especially eBooks. There is something mind blowing about someone that I have never met packing up his mind and transferring it to me. I love the experience and the possibilities. But over time it has waned from learning and growth to acquiring and flaunting. To me, reading books has been no different than someone who might collect cars, watches, or electronics. I read to "stay in the know" and to let others know that I was. I was devouring without contributing.
This year, I am seeking a new approach that looks like this:
- I will look to talk with people who know. Instead of picking up a book on revitalization, I will sit down and buy coffee for a revitalizer.
- I will re-read what I've read. There are a few books over the past few years that stand out. I don't remember every detail, but I remember thinking and being engaged by the author and the content. This year, if I do read, I am going to go back and re-read those with a pen and paper. I will interact and look for real ways to apply what I've already learned.
- I will seek balance, or better yet, priority. This is a tricky part. Should I read my Bible more than I read other books? Should I write more than I read? Just trying to answer those questions in the affirmative is going to be a challenge.
I am clearly not against books or new books. I am sure this year will be filled with great works by great men; all of which I can read... next year.