“He is truly wise who looks upon the earthly things as folly that he may gain Christ.” – Thomas `a Kempis
Many have written on knowledge as a benefit of reading. Knowledge gives wisdom and wisdom is defined as the ability to think and act utilizing knowledge, experience, understanding, common sense, and insight.
Man is a waste without knowledge; why so? In western traditions, wisdom has been listed as one of four cardinal virtues. As a virtue, it is a habit or disposition to perform the action with the highest degree of adequacy under any given circumstance.
This implies a possession of knowledge or the seeking thereof in order to apply it to the given circumstance. According to the scriptures “The essence of wisdom is the fear of God, the dread of His scourge and punishment, and the apprehension of His justice and decree. Wisdom is seen as a light, that casts away darkness, and it’s dictates must be observed under all circumstances. Without the light, man will wallow in darkness.
In a message entitled “Get Wisdom,” Pastor John Piper said the following: “Most of us don’t aspire very high in our reading because we don’t feel like there is any hope. But listen to this. Suppose you read about 250 words a minute and that you resolve to devote just 15 minutes a day to serious theological reading to deepen your grasp of biblical truth. In one year (365 days) you would read for 5,475 minutes. Multiply that times 250 words per minute and you get 1,368,750 words per year. Now most books have between 300 and 400 words per page. So if we take 350 words per page and divide that into 1,368,750 words per year, we get 3,910 pages per year. This means that at 250 words a minute, 15 minutes a day, you could read about 20 average sized books a year!
Having read this, sit down and analyze your days, and set aside 15 minutes just before supper to read a book. Do this a couple of months and then turn to something else. You will absolutely be elated: you will notice that, what you thought wasn’t possible you can do in regular 15 minute slots that would have been wasted. Therefore, I encourage you, there is hope. Choose some classics that you’ve always wanted to read (St. Augustine’s Confessions, or City of God; John Calvin’s Institutes; Martin Luther’s Commentary on Galatians, or Bondage of the Will; John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress; Jonathan Edwards’ Religious Affections; etc.), and set aside 15 minutes, maybe just before you go to sleep, to read. You will not be the same person one year later. Your mind will have been stretched, your heart enlarged, your zeal more fervent. Above all, you will have grown in WISDOM.