There are majorly destructive addictions out there and I don't want you to think that I'm making light of those in any way. I feel as though there are some vices that we've glossed over and barely give a second thought. I want to talk specifically about book addiction.
I am a all-around book addict...I was homeschooled until seventh grade and had no friends beyond the kids in my neighborhood and the large stack of books I had in my house. I often hid from my sheltered life in the magical possibilities of "Half-Magic", "Nancy Drew" and "Five Children and It". I read the entire Chronicles of Narnia 11 times during my childhood!! I think the drawback of all my "book learnin" was that I had a hard time integrating into social interaction because books were so much easier to interact with.
Move on to my adult life as a wife and mom. I find that my spiritual and emotional life is affected by what books I let my brain digest. I will go on fiction binges and then wonder why I feel so disconnected from God and my family. I have also become a non-fiction lover. I will find a subject of interest ( Saudi Arabian history, reading body language, history of popular food) and exhaust the library's inventory of the subject.
A friend and I were discussing the book, "Wicked" and how we both needed to take a break from his writing after that book. Obviously it's having an impact on our thought life! I read "The Da Vinci Code" a month ago and I had to pick up my Bible after reading a couple chapters, just so my spirit felt right. I have researched church history and the canonization process and so I knew where the truth was bent factually in that book. BUT it still niggled its way into my brain.
How many of you know women who are gluttons of romance novels and, as a result, are unhappy with the way they interact with their spouse?? Or feel fatalistic about life after reading J.D. Salinger? Or have the weight of all the things they could be doing to improve themselves after reading too much self-help.
I know many teenagers who are addicted to music or movie genres. All of these things in and of themselves ARE NOT BAD! But I want us as believers to consider the spiritual aspects of these areas. God can bring the right song or book (both secular and spiritual) into our walk that will cause us to grow into a new understanding of Him.
I must confess for me I have a great book that He brought me to read that I've set aside for fiction. I needed a break to digest some of what I learned, but I've turned it into fictional gluttony...and I'm starting to feel sick on it.
All of this internal living also keeps us from living out His plan for us. A book or phrase may enliven us to move to action and ought to or we've missed the whole point of its ability to uplift us.
The book of James speak of being a "doer of the word" not "merely hearers who delude themselves." James 1:21-25
I may post more along the same line later, but I'd love to hear your thoughts!