Right now, for most of you, almost three months of free time awaits you. Alright… maybe not totally free. Throw in some school, an internship, a stint at a summer camp, but lets be honest, you’ve got a lot more time on your hands during the summer than you do during the year. That means we’ve really got two options: waste it or invest it. Frankly, wasting it is way easier. Some of us want easy. We want to watch TV, play video games, or hang out non-stop. If that’s you, then I’m probably not going to convince you to do otherwise.
What I can say is that I’ve never spoken to one college student who wasted his summer and said that he didn’t regret it. I have spoken to some students, the rare few who spend their summers well, and none of them ever regret the hours they spent making their summers count. How did they make it count? Well, quite simply, they read.
It begins with the Bible. If I can get you to do one thing, it would be to start the practice today of reading your Bible daily. Don’t put it off, or it will never happen. Now I’m not saying that reading your Bible will be a magic fix-all for your life, but I am saying that you’ll probably never have this much free time in your life again, and God can use his word majestically when we invest deeply in it.
Once you get the Bible started, set yourself an easy goal. Read three books this summer. That might sound enormous, or even impossible, especially if you hate reading. Nonethless, I’ve never met one book-hater who wasn’t converted into a book-lover (or at least liker) by this goal. The only way to stop hating is to start reading. It will be hard, but it will be an investment that will change your life. We’ve always seen a connection between people reading and their spiritual growth.
If you hate reading, skip this next part. Instead, go to a bookstore find a small book (under 250 pages) that just sounds interesting to you. A biography, a funny cultural commentary, a mystery-thriller, a young adult novel (like Hunger Games), a sports book, or whatever catches your eye… and dedicate yourself to reading it.
If you already at least kind of like reading, you can check out some of my personal suggestions below.
Christian Summer Books:
- Prodigal God – Tim Keller
- Counterfeit Gods – Tim Keller
- King’s Cross – Tim Keller
- Jesus + Nothing = Everything – Tullian Tchividjian
- Battling Unbelief – John Piper
- When I Don’t Desire God – John Piper
- Just Do Something – Kevin DeYoung
- When People Are Big and God is Small – Ed Welch
- A Quest for More – Paul Tripp
- War of Words – Paul Tripp
- The Radical Disciple – John Stott
- Mere Christianity – C.S. Lewis
- Transforming Grace – Jerry Bridges
- Respectable Sins – Jerry Bridges
- The Heart of Prayer – Jerram Barrs
- Out of the Silent Planet – C.S. Lewis
- The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe – C.S. Lewis
- The Fellowship of the Ring – J.R.R. Tolkein
- Peace Like a River – Leif Enger
- Gilead – Marilynne Robinson
- Amazing Grace – Eric Metaxas
- Bonhoeffer – Eric Metaxas
- The Hiding Place – Corrie ten Boom
- Surprised by Joy – C.S. Lewis
- Martin Luther – Stephen J. Nichols
- The Narnian – Alan Jacobs
Alright. Choose a book, start reading, and make your summer count. You’ll thank me in a few months.