Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Book Review: Fearless by Max Lucado
Format: Jacketed Hardcover
Size: 6.20 x 9.30 x 1.10
Page Count: 221
Retail Price: $24.99
I am thankful that my personality is not prone to anxiety and fear. I usually don't have to wrestle with worry. When problems arise, I pray for God's will, leave them in God's hands, and wait to see what comes next. I'm not saying that I have never been worried or afraid; it's just a rare occurrence for me. However, I still find Max Lucado's Fearless to be encouraging and insightful. More importantly, it is Biblically sound..mostly. I inserted "mostly" because I think sometimes he exaggerates and he stretches (his interpretation of) the Scriptures too much/too far. I enjoyed reading the book and appreciated Mr. Lucado's sense of humor. He truly has a gift of teaching and writing; he has a way with words for sure.
This book covers many kinds of fears: fear of not mattering, fear of disappointing God (it’s a good thing that I know God’s love, grace, mercy, and forgiveness are deeper/stronger than anything I could have ever done and anything I may ever do in the future; otherwise, I would constantly be agonizing over this fear), fear of running out (worry whether you have enough), fear of not protecting my kids (probably the one that I can relate to most :)), fear of overwhelming challenges, fear of worst-case scenarios, fear of violence, fear of the coming winter (financial struggles), fear of life's final moments (aka death/dying), fear of what's next (fear of change), fear that God is not real (I was surprised to read that even Mr. Lucado himself has experienced doubt), fear of global calamity, and fear of God getting out of my box (if you don’t put God in a box in the first place, then you wouldn’t have this fear :)). I like the fact that he offers answers to each topic of fear with the Scriptures. I also like the discussion guide for each chapter at the end of the book. It includes many thought-provoking questions that will certainly spark a lively discussion in a group study.
Mr. Lucado challenges you to imagine your life without fear. Fear cripples us. Life without fear frees us. The author's theme is "If we trust God more, we can fear less." I would add: Trust God, in spite of fear. In this book, Mr. Lucado does not cover the area of anxiety disorders/panic attacks in some people (something that seems out of their control and beyond reasoning). These people keep trusting God but it does not help them fear less (unless the Lord heals/delivers them from their conditions).
"What can I fear? Will it be death? But you know that Christ is my life, and that I shall gain by death. Will it be exile? But the earth and all its fullness is the Lord's. Will it be the loss of wealth? But we have brought nothing into the world, and can carry nothing out. Thus all the terrors of the world are contemptible in my eyes; and I smile at all its good things. Poverty I do not fear; riches I do not sigh for. Death I do not shrink from." ~Chrysostom (page 88 in Fearless)