Read Ecclesiastes 12:12
12 But,my child,let me give you some further advice: Be careful,for writing books is endless,and much study wears you out. (NLT)
The food experts tell us that certain foods will satisfy our hunger better than others. Some foods might look and taste good but won’t truly fill our appetites. Other less attractive foods might sustain us for much longer. In other words,some food is better for us than others.
It is much the same when it comes to books,talks,DVDs,and even bible devotions via email! Some of the material we interact with goes down easily and well. But it might not actually be nourishing us. The advice given,the perspective offered,doesn’t do us much good when it comes to the crunch. That bestselling paperback which promises you a ready-and-easy answer to your life issue turns out to be like a quick sugar hit. Enjoyable but not entirely helpful in the long term.
The writer of our text today is realistic enough to acknowledge that there is lots of material around which we can study. But the implicit question he raises is this: how much of it is truly beneficial? Do we need yet another book telling us how to pray or share our faith? Or do we need to more rigorously apply what we already know?
The quick-fix,instant discipleship sort of material might have immediate appeal. But such material is the equivalent of the old snake-oil salesman of the Wild West. Promising much,delivering little. We need solid food that will keep us going through the hard times when the easy solutions have proven worthless. We may end up reading and seeing and hearing less,but learning a whole lot more.