The Kind of Book to Buy a Graduate

It’s graduation season again, which means that you’re probably going to be doing one of two things: pulling out the checkbook or clicking “add to cart” on Amazon.  Graduates need both kinds of loved ones: the ones who help pad their bank account to prepare them for what may very well be one of the poorest times in their lives and the ones who help pad their library for what may very well be one of the most spiritually-challenging times in their lives.  So, if you are the latter and are planning to buy books for the graduates in your life this year, I would like to make a suggestion on the kind of book you should buy.

You could pick them up a copy of How to Stay Christian in College, Thriving in College, or Don’t Waste Your Life, which I’ve heard are all excellent Christian books.  But I think there are books that are not necessarily written for this stage in a person’s life which may be better.  Instead, buy them a book that paints a big and glorious picture of God; a book that depicts him as the One they don’t want to take their eyes off of for fear of missing something amazing.

In college, these graduates are going to be bombarded with people, things, and experiences all of which will be engaged in fierce battle for the throne of their desires.  Will the desire for the opposite sex rule their hearts?  Will it be knowledge or academics?  Or maybe partying and all the immorality that goes along with it?  As their loved ones, we don’t just want to keep them from messing up their lives royally, we want them to guard their hearts – “Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life” (Proverbs 4:23).  And one of the best ways to help them guard their hearts is to hold up before them a biblical view of God that squashes the competition for the throne of their desires.  We want them to see God as the superior pleasure that he is.  He is not boring, stoic, or lame, but rather exciting, passionate, and awesome, and we can point them to this reality with the book we give.

Here are some examples of books that I think fall into this category: Knowing God by J.I. Packer, The Pleasures of God by John Piper, and The Holiness of God by R.C. Sproul.

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About Brent Osterberg

Ransomed sinner, husband to Keri, father to the kiddos three, associate pastor at Calvary Bible Church in Fort Worth, TX, and lover of most things epic. View all posts by Brent Osterberg

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