The value of Giving Unwanted Books
Last night as I was making a pitch for why everyone should buy Kevin DeYoung’s new book “Taking God at His Word” I was reminded of the great value of giving books to people who do not want them. On one of my birthdays my dad with good reasons, gave me a Bible for a present. At that time in my life such a gift rated somewhere under the thrill of getting socks. My dad eventually slipped some money in the Bible to make it less of a trauma. Looking back I realize I likely hurt his feelings with the way I reacted but I really had no desire to own a Bible at that time.
In God’s providence God called me to Christ and that Bible became dear to me as a gift from my dad and a gift from my Heavenly Father. God gave me what I needed long before I knew my need.
From this I learned that good gifts are not necessarily the gifts that are wanted at the moment. And also I noticed that Bibles and books, when given as gifts, in time may serve the purpose they were given for. And a really great thing about Bibles and books is that when they are given to those who do not want them they do not at all get their feelings hurt. They just hang out waiting. So it seems to me that it is a pretty good idea to give out solid materials just as if everyone really wanted them. They can wait for years on a shelf or under the bed and feel no less of themselves.
My suggestion…give out some books. My suggestion of a good place to start…DeYoung’s new book. This is a good work that explains in a way that most anyone can understand how the Bible is knowable, necessary, and enough. This is a topic under attack in and outside of the church and a great topic for both professing Christians and non-Christians to think through. My suggestion on how you pull this off…couple this little $10 book with another gift. Perhaps a graduation gift, a ‘you graduate in two years' gift, birthdays, or some holiday that you make up just to have an excuse to give such an expression of love.
Write a few personal words in the cover of the book telling the recipient how important the Bible is to you and explaining why you find this book about the Bible so helpful. Then, turn the book loose to do its work, which may include waiting or being passed on to someone else. In giving such a gift you are communicating something and perhaps leaving a land-mind (pun intended) that may be activated for the good of the soul of the recipient. This is a very good way to reach out. Books never grow tired or waiting, they never get embarrassed, they never feel pressured into compromise, and they are great tools for communicating that can be passed along over and over again. Oh, and by the way—it is a good book for you too.
We have copies of this book here at the church.