High school students are all singing, “I’ll put on my cap and gown, cap and gown.” They are dunzo with high school. And your mailbox will soon summon you to a few graduation parties. If you are stuck on what to get a graduate, there’s one thing I’d suggest.
Books. Books. Books.
Cash is cool. They’ll love it I’m sure. But how often do we give high school students wads of cash and expect them to do smart things with it? My point exactly.
Now, I always give books. Why? Well, books are awesome. They last a lifetime, and then some.
The grad is done with high school—not learning. If anything, the training wheels are coming off. He is going to start learning for real. And personally, my love for reading didn’t spawn till I was out of high school; it was sparked by some powerful Christian books. Two things happen for me after high school; my love for reading and my love for Jesus both skyrocketed. And if I can help get the launchpad setup, I’m all in.
Five books to consider:
Find out if they have a good study bible. This will be an immensely helpful tool as they move out of the house, and maybe away from their home church for their first time. If they haven’t already, they’ll learn to feed themselves on God’s word, and begin study the word with the help of some of the best scholars in the world. The ESV Study Bible stands head and shoulders above other study bibles on the shelves.
John Piper has been a wrecking ball in my life. God has used him to flatten wrong thinking on many topics. The main destruction: My view of God. It used to be embarrassingly small, and I had a man-centered view of God. But this book helped crystallize my view of God, as God being the chief rewarded of the Christian, a God that loves sinners, and is a God-centered God. That changed me. Big time.
I grew up loving the Bible, doctrine, and church-life—but my love and zeal for Jesus was running on fumes. In college, the gospel became real to me (again). Jesus became more than some ethereal Savior, I began to see him as my reward, my life, my all, my friend. I was awakened to a gospel that not only saved me back in elementary school, but a gospel that is power for me today. Jared’s book is the best book I’ve read on having a love for Jesus and a passion for a gospel-centered life. Get this one for yourself too.
A lot of Christians, especially college students, get hung up on on the will of God. “What does God want me to do? Where should I go? What classes should I take? What cereal should I have!?” We’ve been taught to look for the “open doors.” But what if God wants us to sit and wait for a closed door? DeYoung’s book is a powerful, short and simple approach to decision making and the will of God.
This is an essential reference book. You can open Systematic Theology and find answers to all kinds of questions, explanations of view points—and this book is infected with Scripture. Bible is all over this book. This is one the grad will sit on the shelf, but will open again and again to find answers they are looking for. This book was (and is) instrumental to my growth in Christ.
BONUS: iTunes Gift Card, Coffee, Study Tools
Hey, they are going to be studying—and reading the awesome book you got them, some good study music can’t hurt. Coffee, headphones, nice pens, a nice notebook—these are all great gifts too.
What gifts, or books, do you give graduates?