Return to Content
Read Our Devotional
Opportunities to be Published
The Home for Christian Writers! Matthew 6:33
ENCOURAGE AUTHOR BY COMMENTING
LEAVE COMMENT ON ARTICLE
As A Member
Add to Favorites
Readings is Listening
Free to Share
Author requests article critique
I have tried to discern how to best explain to others why reading is a very important skill and habit to develop. I like reading but I understand that it is not something people everywhere really enjoy. I want to offer some insight about why I think reading should be taken a little more seriously.
Why do people seem so averse to this habit of reading and reflecting? Sometimes it is the commitment of time. Other times, it is the mental exercise that proves to be wearisome. Just as some would claim that physical exercise is dull and wearisome, those who don’t read would say the same thing. But just as there is a reward and benefit to physical exercise, there is certainly a benefit to mental exercise. No one would argue that a person who lifts weights consistently and productively will be able to work better and more skillfully at jobs that require physical exertion. A person who can run for miles with great endurance would perform better in a race, sports competition, or other task/job that requires that particular skill. The development of that skill qualifies that person for the job or sport. In other words, the exercise opens up the door of “capability”. Physical exercise opens up the doors of the “capability” or “opportunity” of running a marathon, performing in the Olympics, traveling by foot, etc. It opens up those doors because you’ve acquired the skill to undertake the opportunities and potentially succeed in them.
I think reading and listening are the same way. The mental exercise of discernment, reasoning, listening, and reflection are so important for developing the ability to think logically, have important discussions, learn new things, and grow as person. I reference both reading and listening because they are the only two possible ways we gain valuable knowledge. Strip away listening or reading and the human capacity to know would be severely undermined. Yet, how many of us take for granted the ability to read and listen? In today’s culture of social media, visual arts, and instant gratification, there is a loss of appreciation for these two skills. Reading is simply too boring or mentally strenuous so we give up on the discipline. On the other hand when it comes to listening, we are very impatient. Most of our conversations, we are too often quick to respond! We find ourselves listening less and less as we tend to be formulating our response while “listening” to the other person. Instead of thinking on what the other person is saying, we are thinking about how we will respond. How much actual reflection and thinking exists in our conversations with one another nowadays? I believe reading can be a helpful solution to developing good listening and learning skills. It can develop an attitude of humility toward another’s ideas and thoughts if you let it. Here’s why…
Reading is a conversation we have with another person where we can’t do any of the talking. We read and listen to another person’s thoughts, ideas, insights, and opinions but we can’t respond! It’s a conversation where we are forced to only listen to the other. It’s entirely focused on their perspective and we can never share our perspective with them. In other words, reading teaches you to listen because all you can do is listen.
Maybe this is why reading is very unpopular today. Maybe it’s not that it’s mentally difficult (although it certainly can be) but maybe it’s simply a disinterest we have with people outside of us. It forces a focus on people other than us, with people who have different ideas, different lifestyles, different perspectives and opinions. Devoting several hours to diving into a mind other than your own might not be very appealing. You simply can’t be too self-absorbed reading a book because you are absorbed in other’s life and mind. Name any book and this happens; whether it is a fantasy novel with an epic journey, a biography of a famous historical figure, a political satire on today’s societal problems, a philosophy or theological work, or a historical survey. You can be exposed to a thousand worldviews and a thousand different lives by simply reading. It can be a powerful way to listen to anyone from anywhere with any different number of experiences. It extends your understanding of others far beyond just your own experience. The famous novelist George R.R. Martin put it well, “A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies . . . The man who never reads lives only one.” The goal is to learn to listen and relate better. I think reading is a great tool for this. It’s not the only tool, but it’s one of the best and most versatile. You want to broaden your horizons, read and read well.
What the world needs are better listeners. When you read it forces you to listen and to think about others. It forces you to think new thoughts, to consider different ideas and concepts, to realize the world is a lot broader and bigger than you and just your experiences. Perhaps this is why God presented the Gospel in a book. Approaching God’s Word, you got to learn to listen and consider God’s thoughts. The Bible is the most important book you can read because you are not just listening to another human’s thoughts. You are listening to God Himself! That’s the ultimate reason why we read the Bible. To learn His perspective and who He is. Now I don’t mean to argue that the same benefit exists for every book out there and I would never say reading any person’s book is just as beneficial as reading God’s book. It takes thoughtfulness in picking what books you read. There are only so many books you can read in a lifetime. All I’m saying is that reading is more than just getting knowledge. It can be a way of learning to relate and learning to listen. We need to be “quick to hear, slow to speak…” (James 1:19). Jesus himself put it very well when it came to approaching to the Words of God. “He who has ears, let him hear” (Matt. 11:15).
There’s a lot more I could write about the discipline of reading and the myriad of benefits that you get from it. I hope to convey more through future book reviews and posts. For now, this was a simple insight I’ve been thinking about. Reading is listening.
PLEASE ENCOURAGE AUTHOR BELOW
LEAVE COMMENT ON ARTICLE
AS A MEMBER
Reader Count & Comments
This article has been read
Read more articles by
or search for other articles by topic below.
Search for articles on: (e.g. creation; holiness etc.)
Read more by clicking on a link:
Main Site Articles
Most Read Articles
Highly Acclaimed Challenge Articles
New Release Christian Books for Free for a Simple Review
NEW - Surprise Me With an Article - Click here for a random URL
God is Not Against You - He Came on an All Out Rescue Mission to Save You
...in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them... 2 Cor 5:19
Therefore, my friends, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you. Acts 13:38
LEARN & TRUST JESUS HERE
The opinions expressed by authors do not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
FaithWriters offers Christian reading material for Christian readers. We offer Christian articles, Christian fiction, Christian non-fiction, Christian Bible studies, Christian poems, Christian articles for sale, free use Christian articles, Christian living articles, New Covenant Christian Bible Studies, Christian magazine articles and new Christian articles. We write for Jesus about God, the Bible, salvation, prayer and the word of God.
Link To Us
Become A Member