If I were a godlier person, I might tell you that my favorite book was written by Max Lucado. Or that the words of Francis Chan changed my life forever. But you won’t find these author’s books on my shelves with crumpled covers and dog-eared pages. No, the Holy Spirit works in mysterious ways in my life. In fact, the authors of the most influential books in my library didn’t write their books to help me reach my world for Jesus or to reveal the power of God in my life. I’m not even sure why I first picked up these books to read except by divine intervention:
#1) The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas Stanley and William Danko. This by far is the most transformative book I have ever read. It opened my eyes to living within my means and being a Christian who works hard and lives a quiet life of humility. Mentioning it in Christian circles always brings confused looks, but the truths contained in its pages about “how” to live humbly are lessons that Americans have forgotten more than a generation ago. The Bible commands us to live in this manner, and Stanley and Danko echo its words in their research of how real millionaires manage their wealth.
#2) Blink by Malcom Gladwell. Within the first pages of reading, a light bulb turned on for me. Gladwell’s look into the lives of people who seem to have an unexplainable natural talent made me realize how the Holy Spirit uses the skills, practice, and gifts that God gives us to focus our influence as Christians. Gladwell encourages us to work the hardest on what we do the best which reminded me so much of “putting my hand to the plow and not looking back” that I couldn’t deny how God was speaking to me through this secular author. I was humbled to realize that God has orchestrated the circumstances of my life to focus my gifts in such a way that they come naturally to me. A sprinkling of God’s supernatural power and all that I have consciously or unconsciously practiced becomes a “blink.” Something I instinctively know how to do. Wow. How fearfully and wonderfully God has made us.
#3) Life Is Beautiful by Vincenzo Cerami and Roberto Beningni. Ok, so this is not a book, it’s a movie, but it was written as a screenplay so I say it counts! This movie has haunted me and challenged me from the moment I saw it. The way this father sheltered his child from the horror of a Nazi concentration camp changed the way I parent my children. It made me conscientious of what I am thankful for. It taught me the importance of the way I perceive the world and how I reflect it to others. And it made me not want to waste a single moment I have on this earth.
By God’s wisdom, He has used these books to open my eyes, transform my heart, and bring a greater awareness of His influence in the world. Maybe they will do the same for you!
Katie / @glasshousespous