The Twitter Effect

Turn my eyes from worthless things, and give me life through your word. ~ Psalm 119:37 (NLT)

My first stint in grad school saw me at Claremont Graduate University in Southern California. I was working on my master’s degree in American History. One of the things I loved about studying history was the ability to dig into the past and relive it through my own eyes, learning lessons about how life used to be, and how things have changed. But, in order to do so, it meant that I had to do a lot of reading. In fact, I was required to read over 3,000 pages of information per week. It was a lot. But I can honestly say, that because I read so much, I gained a really deep understanding of topics and materials.

One of the major shifts that has happened in our society is that the majority of our youth and young adults don’t actually practice the art of reading. Now, I know that’s not everyone. But, in my observations there has been a major shift. I call it the Twitter effect. Information is gathered in small bites rather than large chunks. They scan for information rather than digest it. As a result, many, if given the choice, will never pick up a book to read.

This becomes a major issue when it comes to faith. As the psalmist put it in our verse today, “Turn my eyes from worthless things, and give me life through your word.” Later on, the apostle Paul tell us that the Scriptures are the sole source of information on salvation through Jesus. (See, 2 Timothy 3:15-17) In other words, the depth of our spiritual life can be directly impacted by a lack of information. If we’re not in the Word, we’re ignorant.

When we choose not to read the scriptures, we miss out on the life-giving, life-changing, life-saving information contained therein. When we opt not to read the Book because it’s too long for our tastes, we are choosing not to invest time in learning about the very One who came to save us. When we decide that we don’t need to read the Scriptures, we are declaring that we choose to remain ignorant about who God is and what He desires in our lives. In essence, when we do this, we choose death over life.

So, today, and every day, dig into the Word of God. If you’ve never done it before, start with the book of John in the New Testament. Read a chapter per day. Digest the information. Try to view it as if it were happening right in front of you. Let the Word revive your spiritual life.

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