Article: Impact of Great Spiritual Books – Part 4
I have often found myself enjoying food that was left over in the refrigerator much more than I did the day it was prepared. All of a sudden, my taste buds explode with pleasure as I savor the meal with deep appreciation to the point of wondering if this is the same meal I ate the previous day or so.
While reminiscing on lessons learned from great spiritual books, I started sensing the urge to re-read some of these great books. Flipping through the table of contents of one of the books I mentioned in yesterday’s journal, I realized that chapter 1 talks about “Thinking Great Thoughts” – this happens to be my focus lately. Having resumed with the introduction, I am already having a great time. I believe it will be a more in-depth experience reading the book for the second time. “Mind Change” by Tom Jones was mentioned yesterday by a dear brother and friend in a conversation. He said the book changed his perspective on the way he approaches problems or challenges: His mind or attitude shifted from “God but the problem” to “problem but God.”
I couldn’t help but remember the impact this had on a brother I was counseling while leading the campus ministry over 15 years ago. He had a very distorted way of thinking, and it affected his studies, his relationships and especially his self-confidence. Having read mind change myself, we spent weeks and probably a few months going through the book systematically together.
That brother is completely transformed today, holds an outstanding job, happily married and very productive in the Abidjan Church. He attributes his profound change to the impact of the book on his thought process.
We may trivialize the importance of our thoughts, but we can’t ignore their power. When we get depressed or anxious, we spend a lot of time, energy and even money on changing our emotions and our behavior. But almost always, beneath the emotions we want to improve and the behavior we want to correct is a pattern of thinking that needs to change.
“The Victory of Surrender” by Gordon Ferguson is another intense book along with his book on “Romans – The heart set free.” Having faced moments when I needed to trust God by letting go and letting Him, the Victory of surrender saw me through seasons of doubt and fear. Such was often the case as a full-time minister when I faced the challenge of constantly moving from ministry to ministry, from church to church, from country to country.
Another brother shared with me how this book took him through a very trying season as a young Bible talk leader. He’s doing very well today and even leads a church along with his wife.
Like me, maybe it is time for you to re-visit some great spiritual books you did read in the past. Re-reading can also be likened to watching a movie. You rarely get everything the first time around. Upon viewing a second time, you get to hear and see things you didn’t see before.
Let’s take a step higher, a level deeper.
(1 Peter 2:1-3; Hebrews 5:12-14; Romans 12:1-2; Luke 9:23-26; Romans 7:24-25).