Deciding between Madame Bovary or the Bible

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Defining moments in my life - reading these books, answering this question

Defining moments in my life – reading these books, answering a question

What is the best book you have ever read?

I was asked this question 16 years ago while being interviewed for an article in a business publication.

Two answers swirled around my head.

a. The Bible

b. Madame Bovary

Option A – Upside – A great spiritual answer. Downside – I hadn’t read it entirely. Parts of the Bible, yes, but the whole thing circa 1996, uh, that would be a big fat no.

Madame Bovary is a seriously awesome book.

Madame Bovary is a seriously awesome book.

Option B – Upside – I had read Madame Bovary. In French. In France. Even bought it at a French bookstore. I read every word. Downside – not as impressive.

Briefly I wrestled with the correct answer.

“Don’t say the Bible,” God said.

“You’re lying, Cindy and we both know it. You haven’t read the Bible. Pick the other book.” He thundered a reply…

So I did.

Best book ever read as of 1996 – Madame Bovary.

Today my answer would be different. I loved Madame Bovary. Gustave Flaubert is magnificent. But it was just a book.

I want my faith to soak in my every molecule because of the Author of Life. Today, ask me about the best book I’ve ever read, the only book I’ve ever read and continue to read regularly is – the Bible.

Tuesday I read the first chapter Romans (Romains) as part of the 21-Day Challenge in YouVersion. There is much to glean from this weighty text. Part of verse 16 in the book of Romans jumps out at me.

“Car je suis fier de l’Evangile”

The English version states “I am not ashamed of the Gospel.” In French, it translates to “I am proud of the Doctrine of Christ.”

I’m proud of reading Madame Bovary. In French. In France. Purchased with my very own francs. 😉 It was a big accomplishment.

My soul rests in The Word.

My soul rests in The Word. This is my Journaling Bible which I love because I can write notes in the margin.

But for me, the life-changing book is Option A. The Bible is no longer an unfinished read on my nightstand. It is my source of wisdom and strength.

My past is decadent and jaded, I was intimidated to open the first few pages of the Bible for fear of great reprisal and judgment. I’m so dumb and was so foolish. But Jesus transformed this woman. I am a different and better person because I delve into Truth. Even in times of instruction, the Lord takes the hand of my heart and leads me to understanding.

The joy and pride I have now reading the Bible from Genesis to Revelation surpasses all other words.

If you want to know more about reading God’s Word, check out these resources. Bless you, sweet friends for hearing my life.

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