I’ve read many books concerning the Christian lifestyle. Many books that offered great insight into bible scripture, prayer, and living the walk.
Often these books appear very similar in their approach: “Yes, life has its downers and here’s some great bible references, but only feel the pain for so long and then be done with it or else you aren’t a REAL Christian.” Sometimes I finish a book with the feeling that it’s not okay to be myself and if I don’t act a certain way, then I’m not being a good Christian. I sometimes feel that myself and who I am, isn’t good enough. Or maybe I should be someone else in order to appear as if I’m really walking the walk.
I admit, I often don’t get through the whole book and it ends-up on a shelf. This isn’t the case for all of the Christian books I’ve read. There are many that have touched my heart deeply and I recommend them to friends. But, there does seem to be this club-like approach to many of the Christian, self-help books available and they appear very “canned” to me. I realize my own life experiences are why I feel this way and therefore, I refuse to give any specific examples because someone else may have a totally different response and may have had a really great, life-changing experience with a book that I didn’t like.
However, if so far, you’re shaking your head yes with what I’m saying, you may like Blue Like Jazz, By: Donald Miller. This book is about the author’s own life and it’s written in a genuine and authentic style. Donald Miller also has a great sense of humor and a writing style that flows so well you don’t want to put the book down.
His stories are straight from his own life and many of his experiences are things we can all identify with. Most of all, he displays a real love for humanity as taught to us by Jesus. There is no “us against them” in his mindset. What I mean by that is that there is a lot of church versus non-church stuff going on these days in this wonderful country we call the United States of America. While we need to by mindful of our own lifestyle practices, Jesus taught us to show His glory through love not scorn.
Conventional is not the word for this book which is exactly why I recommend it. You’ll have to read the book to figure out what I meant by that. However, If you enjoy wrapping yourself within the four walls of your church and never venturing outside of it, then you really don’t want to read this book. That wasn’t meant as a slam or maybe a dare. Sometimes we need to incubate for a while before we venture out and there’s nothing wrong with that as long as our journey is active. Notice I used the word “never.”
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