Thursday, July 28, 2011

Book Review: Cure for the Common Life by Max Lucado

Product Details:
Format: Trade Paper
Trim Size: 5.40 x 8.30 x 0.90
Page Count: 220
Retail Price: $15.99
ISBN: 9780849947087

Book Description:
"Sweet spot." Golfers understand the term. So do tennis players. Ever swung a baseball bat or paddled a Ping-Pong ball? If so, you know the oh-so-nice feel of the sweet spot. Life in the sweet spot rolls like the downhill side of a downwind bike ride. But you don't have to swing a bat or a club to know this. What engineers give sports equipment, God gave you A zone, a region, a life precinct in which you were made to dwell. He tailored the curves of your life to fit an empty space in his jigsaw puzzle. And life makes sweet sense when you find your spot.

But if you're like 87 percent of workers, you haven't found it. You don't find meaning in your work--or you're one of the 80 percent who don't believe their talents are used. What can you do? You're suffering from the common life, and you desperately need a cure.

Best-selling author Max Lucado has found it. In Cure for the Common Life he offers practical tools for exploring and identifying your own uniqueness, motivation to put your strengths to work, and the perfect prescription for finding and living in your sweet spot for the rest of your life.

MY THOUGHTS AND REVIEW:
Are you happy with your job? Excited to get up and go to work everyday? If you're like the majority of people in America (and the world for that matter), the answer is probably "no". Do you dread work days? Bored with your "common" life? This book aims to help you navigate through your interests, passions, abilities, skills, and more to find your sweet spot (= the cure for the common life). Your sweet spot is the spot where you use your uniqueness to make a big deal out of God every day of your life! "If you aren't you, we don't get you. The world misses out...Live your life, or it won't be lived. We need you to be you. You need you to be you." (p. 33, 34) The first step to discover your sweet spot is to study your S.T.O.R.Y. (Strengths, Topics, Optimal conditions, Relationships, Yes!). "For fear of doing the wrong thing for God, you'll do nothing for God. For fear of making the wrong kingdom decision, you'll make no kingdom decision. For fear of messing up, you'll miss out...." (p. 60) Mr. Lucado invites readers to take big risks for God and use their gifts to make Him known. "God's ultimate cure for the common life takes you to a manger. The babe of Bethlehem. Immanuel. ...Weary of an ordinary existence? Your spiritual adventure awaits. The cure for the common life begins and ends with God." (p.65, p.70) This is a useful and practical book that helps readers explore their uniqueness that God packed in them on purpose for His purpose. It includes the Sweet Spot Discovery Guide (developed by People Management Internatinoal, Inc. and Steve Halliday) in the back of the book. I enjoyed reading this book and would recommend it to others. I especially love Chapter 15: Don't Be Too Big to Do Something Small. "God's cure for the common life includes a strong dose of servanthood...As you celebrate your unique design, be careful. Don't so focus on what you love to do that you neglect what needs to be done." (p. 131). In the book, Mr. Lucado provides these wise words: "Parents, tell your kids to do what they love to do so well that someone pays them to do it. Spouses, urge your mate to choose satisfaction over salary." Sounds great, doesn't it? However, in reality, it doesn't always work out. For example, my husband has always desired to be a full-time missionary to the unreached. He loves the Lord and wants to serve Him! Sharing the Gospel and talking about God and the Bible bring him joy. It's his "sweet spot". But one thing after another keeps preventing him from being a full-time missionary. His sickness. My mother moved across the continent to come live with us for a while. Our son's anxiety disorder (he refuses to move from our state). My husband is thankful to have a job (civil engineer) and he is being light & salt at his workplace but he still longs for his dream job. Also, for those living in third world countries who are starving...they do not have an option to choose satisfaction over salary. Survival must come first. Wouldn't our contentment and thankful heart honor God more than our fulfillment/satisfaction? I believe our sacrifice (putting others' need above ourselves) glorifies God more than our self-seeking desires (being too occupied with finding our sweet spot, being discontent until we find our sweet spot, etc.). It makes me wonder if our sweet spot is supposed to  mean "living in obedience to His will and being content", instead.

~ I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

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