I first had the pleasure of reading Andy Stanley’s book Louder than Words (The power of Uncompromised Living) in 2007 when I was attending Victory World Training for Ministry. I recall thinking to myself, “not another book”.! Our required reading was at least 2 to 3 hours per day and that did not include the actual homework. Needless to say, it was a labor of love. Andy Stanley’s, Louder than Words book stood out among the 20 others because of the challenge of facing your character flaws.
Most people, particularly in the Christian community don’t tend to examine their character. For some reason, they seem to think that Grace is enough. While God tells us that His Grace is sufficient, it is not enough just to say Grace will take care of my character. You have to actually build your character, because ultimately you want to be a person that is trustworthy, compassionate and a law abiding citizen. It never ceases to amaze me the number of people that go to church every week and even help serve the community, but lack character.
Andy Stanley defines character in his book as “the will to do what is right, as defined by God, regardless of personal cost. He further goes on to explain that most people in the world have a shifting definition of character based on circumstances. Andy tells a story in Chapter two about a missionary named John Wolfinger and how he took a stand that personifies the definition of character. He said Wolfinger was leading a group of a hundred Christian converts in Borneo. When the Japanese military took control of the island, they sought to arrest the missionary and execute him.
Wolfinger’s followers were plotting to hide him in the mountains until the danger had passed. Wolfinger reasoned that by running from his captors, he would be giving his new Christian converts the wrong picture of God. However his converts urged him to consider their plan, and Wolfinger explained that when the Japanese asked where he was hiding, his followers would have to lie, and that would not be acceptable. So instead of compromising the picture of God’s character, Wolfinger stayed, was captured and executed. Now, that’s character!
Andy Stanley goes to great lengths to challenge the reader in his book Louder than Words to examine their character and live a life that is uncompromising. Stanley has another great chapter in this book about Letting go of past hurts. As a matter of fact when you read this chapter you’ll understand how some things in your past can and will affect your future and why it is imperative that you release the past and not only forgive others, but forgive yourself so that you can move on to fulfill your purpose and destiny.
You can purchase Andy Stanley’s “Louder than Words” at all of the major book stores such as Barnes and Noble or on-line at Amazon.com. The price point for this paperback is $6.00 to $15.00 depending on if you purchase it new or used. This is a great book for leaders in ministry, in business, in the community and in life.