Since elementary school I have loved to read and study history, especially biographies of famous people. Understanding the circumstances in which they lived and the events that formed their life, and how they became an individual that someone would want to write about is amazing to me.
I have especially enjoyed reading the biographies of some of the great spiritual leaders of the past. The encouragement to me to remain faithful despite the challenges I face, how they were able to remain true to the word of God despite the possibility of being exiled or even killed, and how their personal relationship with Christ has changed history.
I need an understanding that these individuals have coped with all the same struggles that I face today, and some of their struggles make mine look like a cake walk. The challenge in reading a great biography is realizing that it is about learning from the past, applying it to the present, and seeking to remember it in the future. These men and women of the past did not start out wanting to be famous, they simply wanted to survive in a world that was in turmoil just like it is today. The reason I gravitate towards Christian biographies is simple, to strength my faith through their testimony.
As a pastor, minister, college professor, men’s minister leader, and Sunday school teacher I have found reading biographies have provided me some of my greatest illustrations. It allows me to remain fresh in my preaching and teaching, and add some clear insight into the word of God by showing people that they are not the only ones living for Christ.
Pastors/friends I would like to challenge you read a biography, better yet not one, but let’s make it a real challenge. How about reading 12 biographies this coming year (one a month), and lets see if our preaching, teaching, and witnessing is not enhanced.