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Monday, May 17, 2010

Leaders Are Readers, and the Other Way Around

From Spiritual Leadership: Principles of Excellence for Every Believer by J. Oswald Sanders, pages 102, 104, 105.

The leader who intends to grow spiritually and intellectually will be reading constantly.

If a man is known by the company he keeps, so also his character is reflected in the books he reads. A leader's reading is the outward expression of his inner hungers and aspirations... Our reading should be regulated by who we are and what we intend to accomplish.

The leader should immerse herself in books that equip [her] for higher service and leadership in the kingdom of God.

Jean Said:

Oh, Father, this amazing thing You designed and created -- this thing we call reading! That we can create written language that uses symbols to represent not only sounds and words, but ideas and concepts is an incredible thing.

That we can express our thoughts and feelings, our histories and dreams for the future on paper with little squiggles and dots--it's fantastic. And You gave us this ability.

Lord, help me not to fill my time with marshmallow books. You know, books that are full of fluff, books that taste sweet and just melt away into nothing like marshmallows do in my mouth.

Lord, help me to invest my reading time into books and articles that will require some "chewing." Help me to choose books that will equip me to become the person You want me to become. To aspire to the places of service and leadership that You have ordained for me.

Lord, don't let me set anything wicked or disrespectful before my eyes. They ARE the gate into my mind. And I know that my mind is the place Satan would like to rule and control.

I want to set before my eyes (and my mind) only things that are true and noble, things that are right and pure, things that are lovely and admirable. Help me to invest my reading time in things that are excellent and praiseworthy. (Philippians 4:8)

Things that will mold me into the person You want me to become.

God Said:

You love books, Little One. I know that. They can transport you to other worlds, other times. They can thrill you and terrify you and soothe you. Books can enable you to escape daily drudgery, or enable you to change your world. Books can motivate and equip you to reach new heights, or to dig a lot deeper.

I love books, too, you know. I've inspired hundreds of thousands of books.

And, actually, I wrote one myself.

I used some secretaries to record the squiggles on paper and parchment, but it's My book. The Bible.

Read lots of books, Little One. Read all kinds of books. But don't forget to read Mine.

It's been a best seller for a few thousand years now. I'm absolutely positive you'll find something worth remembering in its pages.