The benefits of reading are obvious. Reading improves vocabulary, writing skills, imagination, knowledge, as well as decreases stress by promoting relaxation. It’s free entertainment, and it is an opportunity to be creative and focus the mind so you can fall asleep at night. But for me it’s all about the quality of reading rather than the quantity. I have several books on my shelf where you will find the bookmark marking the page about half way to the end of the book. I will admit I often do not finish a book because of boredom or simple lack of interest. But then there are those books where if you flipped through it quickly you would find “dog eared” corners, various colors of highlighted segments and even hand written notes in the margin. Now that is what I consider quality reading! I do not find the motivation to often read for pleasure but rather to read for purpose, although in that purpose I find much pleasure. I love to grab a hold of a book where I must stop to make a note and ponder the thought. Recently, I finished a book of this kind; it would be classified “quality” with the cover worn, the binding broken and the pages stained by multi-colored pens. “The Faith Factor” by F. Chapin Marsh is a book that I could read again and again, digesting the truth suggested in it all the while stretching my faith and imagination of my Great Creator God. In reading this book in the third chapter I was challenged to evaluate my faith. Do I have “little faith” saying, “God can do it but will He?” Or do I have the “great faith” that asks and is assured that God will do it? Or am I challenged to a resting faith, which Marsh describes as “perfect faith?” Knowing the “voices of faith” so I can be victorious is in chapter five. Marsh explains these three voices as “God’s voice, my own voice, and the devil’s voice.” God’s voice is always gentle, wise and loving; my voice is always yelling “Me, Mine, I”; and the devil’s voice is speaking words of despair, doubt, depression, defeat and death (Marsh, 1982, p. 57-58). In chapter seven, I discovered how to identify the three “enemies of faith” in fear; unbelief that shouts, “You are not worthy” and indecision, which paralyzes us to think that God does not have anything good for us. In the following chapters and conclusion of the book Marsh continues to offer hope that can only be found in Jesus. He ends with three outcomes of faith in chapter nine, “our hope fulfilled in God; our faith is increased by God through His Word; and our life becomes a testimony or living Gospel for God’s glory,” (Marsh, 1982, p. 111). Through quality reading I have been challenged in my thinking and writing and find it beneficial in more ways than what even the research would indicate.
Link to The Faith Factor by F. Chapin Marsh on Amazon: