Tuesday, September 8, 2009

"Fearless" by Max Lucado

I must admit that this is the first Max Lucado book I have ever read. Several have been suggested to me in the past, but I’ve never been interested. Though I am a Christian, I’ve always found a majority of modern Christian literature off-putting. In my opinion most seems manufactured to sell to a Christian audience at a premium price and then it’s not even that good. But when I was given the opportunity to read Lucado’s new book free of charge, before it was released and then encouraged to write an honest review, I jumped at the chance. If nothing else I could resell the book on amazon.com and make a couple dollars. Besides, I was intrigued by the title.

If you ask my parents, they will tell you I was usually a very intrepid child, unafraid of most things that kids commonly fear, at least until I watched the movie “Gremlins.” I still vividly remember dreams I had of those little green monsters in the weeks and months following the movie and even as an adult I haven’t been able to go back and watch the film again. Beyond this incident though, I still maintain a very cavalier attitude, typically unafraid of calculated risks and intrigued by the dangerous. So it was with a mind for my fearful friends and acquaintances that I read this book, and in turn would suggest to every one of them. I even took a little away for myself.

“Fearless” is written in the form of a daily or weekly devotional and even includes a discussion guide in the back. I was able to read through the book in about 2 days time with little effort and thoroughly enjoyed it. Lucado is honest and forthcoming with many of the fears he faces or has faced in his own life, and it’s easy to relate to him knowing he’s been there and done that. What is even better is that all of his points are reaffirmed with scripture. Though I’ve read most of the passages Lucado cites in his writing, I had not noticed or at least taken to heart how often Jesus referred to the idea of fear or rather having no fear. The scriptures make it abundantly clear that God has the best intentions for us whether we can understand His methods or not and as Christians, though He does not promise us a life without stress, turmoil, hardship or even tragedy, we can have faith that in the end, no matter the struggle, we will be with Jesus for eternity. As the book quotes “Everything will work out in the end, and if it’s not working out, it’s not the end.”

I especially appreciated Lucado’s illustration about Monopoly money on page 103. In the current economic climate, finances are a chief concern. Being smart with the money I make and saving for the future are very important focuses in my life, but as important as they both are, I must remember that in the end, I cannot take the money with me. Money holds no value in God’s eyes. It’s what we do with the money while we're on earth that matters.

Overall I give high marks for “Fearless,” though I would suggest reading it a chapter a day or even a chapter a week to be discussed with your small group. The book’s format does not lend itself well to cover-to-cover reading. There’s just a bit too much to take in.

As for me I will most likely read this book again, only slower, and I have a few specific people in mind that will be receiving the book as a gift.

As for you, whether courageous or cowardly, this book probably has something that can help you grow.

1 comment:

Ruth said...

That is wonderful, Josh. I am sitting on a patio at school trying to organize today's tasks while trying to put aside troubles. Needless to say, yesterday was the beginning and and it is going to take awhile to work itself out. I don't see the end yet. But Christ is with me. Please Pray!