As Christians, one of the important ways to improve our Christian spirituality is reading. A good reading habit is the most precious spiritual treasure in our entire life. A pastor said reading was a huge win because it cost little money to purchase a book which contains the author's lifetime findings and spiritual experiences.
I recently launched a survey and investigation on what spiritual reading and writing could bring to a Christian. The interviewees were a young Christian group aged 18 to 28. The questions included whether a regular reading and writing habit was formed, one's reading direction and writing content, and what changes and renewal those could bring to a Christian's life.
About 45% of the respondents said they had abandoned reading physical books and writing on papers. Their regular reading and writing styles are through e-books, computers and smartphones.
Another 40% stated that they spent little time on paper reading and writing, while less than 15% claimed that they could be able to be engaged in deep reading and writing.
Among the group that said they only read and wrote superficially, they responded that the motivation behind reading and writing was for entertainment, killing time, or rechargeable learning to prepare for the exams of postgraduate entrance, civil service, and professional titles.
For those who were willing to spend time in reading Christians books and writing, they shared that the influence of reading and writing was more out of spiritual needs - self-growth, character improvement, the fun of exploring, and soul conversions.
A 27-year-old man told me that he quit school because of financial difficulties, but he keeps reading and writing. He added that reading was like getting energy from the shoulders of giants. For him, to write was to discover one's truer and deeper self, through conversation with the world and himself via words. His spiritual development benefited by leaps and bounds while reading the Bible and "Streams in the Desert", and writing book reflections. He has become a pastor of a Christian meeting venue and his reflections have become an important source of content for sermons.
An authoritative data reveals that each French on average reads 11 books a year, reading books is the top habit in Israel, and 60% of Japanese citizens regard reading as part of their lifestyles.
However, more than 30% of Chinese people are dissatisfied with the reading status quo and only 15% said they read much. Those statistics act as a wake-up call to the current reading situation and a reminder to place a stronger emphasis on reading.
(The author is a Christian from Jiangsu Province.)
- Translated by Karen Luo