Monday, November 15, 2010

Resources for Biblical Living

Recently I was sent a few booklets from P&R Publishing to take a look through and I found both of these little booklets a short, concise Biblical exhortation worthy of some consideration. They sent Grief: Learning to Live with Loss and Selfishness: From Loving Yourself to Loving Your Neighbor. At first I was thinking "Grief and Selfishness, hmm? Well, that's a funny combination of subjects to talk about in one blog post." Then I reconsidered. But actually, these two booklets, while part of the same Resources for Biblical Living Series put out by P&R are wholly unrelated (except if you are trying to walk out a life of faith and you kinda realize that everything is related. But I digress...)

I started by reading through Grief: Learning to Live with Loss. I have to confess that this is now a topic that I'm almost just about ready not to think about anymore. However, I also recognize the fact that if you are living out a wholly Christian life, the chances of you facing grief every now and again are kinda high and it would behoove a person to make sure that their theology on the subject is as correct as possible.

This booklet is written by Howard A. Eyrich and he opens by making sure that the reader understands that every person's grief story is different. God works in each of our lives in different ways and Eyrich encourages us to realize that. He urges the reader to live in the light of eternity, acknowledging that "this world is not our home" so to speak and so we should learn to live with the end goal in sight - fellowship with God in Heaven. He also encourages his readers to look towards Biblical examples and models of people who experienced grief in their lives, such as Abraham (who lost a spouse), Joseph (who lost a father), David (who lost a child), etc.

This is a quick 20 minute read but provides plenty of food for fodder.

Selfishness: From Loving Yourself to Loving Your Neighbor is written by Lou Priolo who authored the book Pleasing People (linked to my brief thoughts, which are linked to Tim Challies' review of the same.)

This booklet will sit on my shelf for quick and easy, perhaps regular retrievals so that I can remind myself of what a ridiculously selfish person I am. Don't read this book if you hate to be convicted by anything, ok? If you just don't want to change and you like the way that you are and the way that you think then you will be frustrated by this exhortation. Seriously. Don't pick it up.

If you do want to be challenged, corrected and be made to feel generally uncomfortable in your own little universe, then this 31-page book might be just the ticket.

It's a painful read. In a good way, of course. Reading it is kind of like Aslan standing next to Eustace and ripping off his dragon skin on Dragon Island (see Voyage of the Dawn Treader.) Only in this case, Aslan is standing by with claws extended in your direction!

The fact of the matter is that we all really do love ourselves more than we love any other person on earth. That's not the way that we were designed to be, but it is the way that we are thanks to sin. I like me and I like my world. But Jesus came to break into my world and I'm supposed to be thinking less about me and more about Him. My love and view of Him must be corrected before I will be able to turn around and love others (see Melissa's thoughts on this topic) and this little booklet on Selfishness points that out.

I was considering passing these booklets along, but I seriously think I'd better hang on to the one on Selfishness in particular. I have relapses, you see.

Other books you might find useful in the Resources for Biblical Living series:

(All of these booklets are very reasonably priced at $3.99 or $4.99 on Amazon.)

Thank you, P&R Publishing both for publishing these resources and for making me familiar with them!


Barbara H. said...

I think I need that one on selfishness...

Krista said...

Me too Barbara...

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