Friday, September 10, 2010

Book Review...Outlive Your Life

I was eagerly awaiting this new book from Max Lucado. I was thrilled to see an author with a following like Lucado tackle the issue of the Church’s responsibility to those in poverty. The book opens with several stories to set the pace and then by Chapter 4, Lucado is presenting the Gospel. I was glad to see he took the time to present the Gospel in this book. All too often, authors focus on the issue but forget WHY the issue is important. Without a foundation in the Gospel, addressing poverty just seems like something else on the “to-do” list. When you view poverty the way God does, addressing it becomes a passion. I loved his description in Chapter 7 of the definition of compassion. Compassion means a “kick in the gut.” Lucado hypothesizes that because the emotions poverty stirs up are so difficult, we have problems figuring out what we can do about it. His premise is that we did to get beyond that paralyzing fear and do something.

Throughout the book, Lucado uses Scripture to prove repeatedly that God cares about the poor, the orphan and the widow and that God expects us as believers to care about them too. In combination with biblical presentation, Lucado highlights practical examples of ordinary people using their lives to care for the poor. He also forces a deep examination of our thoughts and preconceived notions of people who aren’t like us. I was convicted on several occasions of how I have viewed someone on the side of the road or standing in line for food stamps. I was challenged to reframe my thoughts and view all people as how God sees them, someone worthy of His attention and MY attention.

This is definitely not a difficult read. In fact, it could easily be read in a few hours. If you are used to Max Lucado’s deep, thought-provoking works, you might be disappointed. However, if you allow yourself to read this book with an open mind and allow the Holy Spirit to work on your life, you will find yourself pleasantly surprised. If everyone who reads it takes it to heart, we could change the world. My only small complaint is that there is not a listing of places or organizations where people could immediately find a place to serve. It would be helpful to give people a game plan to put what they’ve learned into action. All-in-all though, this is a wonderful book! I plan to share my copy widely!

Thomas Nelson Publishers Booksneeze program gave me a free copy of this book in exchange for my fair and honest review.

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