I don't know if you've noticed, but my little widget that shows the titles in my book basket has changed. It had at least five titles last week; now it's down to two. I find that I'm becoming particularly choosy about the books I am willing to read.
I don't mind hard points, drama, or things that really make me think. I don't even mind a little of the "world's" ideas, even though I often don't agree with them. But I simply cannot read a book based totally on things that make my heart feel shameful or afraid anymore.
I cannot stomach books that include all forms of darkness and despair, as I once did. I had nightmares last week because I was reading a collection of short stories in which the men (in nearly every single story) cheated on their wives as easily as they swished mouthwash. I even pulled a review of one book I read (and liked) recently because I realized it could cause others to have nightmares.
I have not sworn off secular fiction. On the contrary, I am drawn to it because it is often written superbly. But I am further away from completing my local library's reading program because I simply will not sacrifice my spiritual health in its pursuit.
This weekend my pastor told a story about a boy who wanted to see a movie that had just a "little bit" of bad in it. To make a point about how a "little bit" can poison the whole thing, the father baked this boy brownies that contained just a "little bit" of dog poo. I realized that for the previous two weeks I had been refusing to eat dog poo--even just a smidgen.
Goodness, how do you end a post like this? I am grateful God has given me a love for reading, and shown me what is good and beneficial. And I'm thankful for books that create hope and tell stories full of redemption and reconciliation. Happy reading.