Wise Words on the Hoarding of Books

Here’s an article well worth your time, if like me, you are a lover of books. 
 ……
Office ShelvesMy library is considerable, though over the last 15 years I have combed out over 1,000 volumes that have been either given away, sold or trashed. Many of them were given to me. Many were purchased used. Too many were purchased impulsively and though I can say that most of them have been read, many have not, at least, not completely. 
 ….
When I think about the historical fact, that the greatest theologian ever to grace American soil, Jonathan Edwards, died with only 300 books in his library, I am embarrassed at how paltry has been either my contribution to the cause of Christ or my growth in grace, given the resources at my disposal. Lord forgive me. 
 ……
Last year, I rediscovered the local library as a way to keep from purchasing new books. But I am also increasingly being drawn to a desire to master one book, THE Book, God’s always relevant word. The books on my shelves hold less sway on me.
 ….
Many of the books on my shelves have been useful over the years and now my hope is they might be useful to someone else. So, if you see me, ask me if I have a book to give you, for the particular need that you might have. I will try to select a book from my shelves that will direct you to THE book, in a productive way. 
…….

Here’s an excerpt from Jim Elliff’s article.

Office Shelves 2“I’ve spent my life around pastors and church planters. I can tell you that most of them do not eagerly talk about new findings in the Bible, new insights from Jesus’ teachings, how they find Christ in the Old Testament, how passages are coming alive to them because they are finally understood. No, mostly they talk about what others say in the books they read. They speak like hoarders of books rather than lovers of the Bible. For me, correcting this problem takes true repentance. But, in my experience, and the experience of generations of Bible lovers, substituting saturation in the Bible for inordinate hours in uninspired books will do something for your soul that cannot be done otherwise.
……. 
What I’ve written is not entirely autobiographical, but it is close. I’m now in the process of removing loads of books from my shelves. Digging out will take a while and may be painful. For some time most of these books have been of little use to me except to hold dust and to look good. I have grown more and more in my desire for the Bible over these last years. Now I’m trying to master the books God guarantees will mold my life and provide the confident overflow of understanding I need to pass on to others. I’m repentant and happy about it. Sadly, I am more right than you may know about how much difficulty there is in disposing of books in such a way that honors God.
……. 
Travel lightly through this world.”

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