Pete and I read an interesting devotional a few days ago, which I wanted to share here. It certainly gives food for thought, especially if we consider that the Internet and social media are probably equivalent to the rage that novels were at the time of this writing. Do we make it a point to find a good balance between our time of entertainment (be it reading, web surfing, tv, etc.) and our time spent developing our relationship with God? I know I am was certainly convicted upon reading this!
This is from a sermon preached on February 13th, 1859:
When all this had ended, the Israelites who were there went out to the towns of Judah, smashed the sacred stones and cut down the Asherah poles. They destroyed the high places ("groves" in the KJV) and the altars throughout Judah and Benjamin and in Ephraim and Manasseh. After they had destroyed all of them, the Israelites returned to their own towns and to their own property.
2 Chron. 31:1
"There are many books that are to be so esteemed by the Christian man, that they must be cut down like the groves of trees, not because they are bad in themselves, but because there the false gods are worshipped. Novel-reading is the rage of the present day. I go to a railway bookstall, and I cannot see a book that I can read; I get one, and it is all trash. I search to find something that would be really valuable, but I am told, "It would not sell here." The fact is, nothing will sell but that which is light, and frothy, and frivolous; so every traveler is compelled to consume such as that, unless he carry something better with him. Do I, therefore, say that the Christian man must condemn all reading of fiction and novels? No, I do not, but I do say that the mass of popular books published under the name of light literature, is to be eschewed and cut down, for the simple reason that the moral of it is not that of piety and goodness; the tendency of the reading is not to bring the Christian towards heaven, but rather to retard and impede him in his good course. I lift up my axe against many a work that I cannot condemn, if I look at it abstractedly in itself, but which must come down, because I recollect how much of my own precious time I wasted in such trivial reading, how many years in which I might have had fellowship with Christ have been cast away, whilst I have been foolishly indulging a vicious taste for the romantic and the frivolous. No, there are many things which are not wrong in themselves, but which nevertheless must be given up by the true Christian, because they have had, and do have, association with things positively wrong. Just as the groves must be cut down -- not because there can be a sin in trees, but because the trees have been associated with the worship of idols."