Friday, October 26, 2012

Everything (Book Review)

I was excited when I was asked to review Everything. The description I initially read that went along with the book stated - "what you give and what you gain to become like Jesus." I have to admit however that along with my excitement came some skepticism. I've read alot of "Christian Living" books and often feel as though they cycle through the same points and scripture. Ultimately I was pleasantly surprised. I enjoyed Ms. DeMuth's style of writing and the book as a whole (which is a lot to say considering that when I get close to law school exam season time I normally don't read anything except my textbooks!).

DeMuth's book takes the reader on a journey of transformation and seeking to give oneself fully to following Christ. The book is broken up into 3 sections:

1. Head - What We Think
2. Heart - Who We Are
3. Hands - How We Live

My favorite part of section one was when DeMuth addressed the power of the gospel and how it should literally be "the legs we walk on, the air we breathe", rather than just something we occasionally flip to for guidance or comfort. I have had the opportunity to attend various churches over the last couple of months, and something that I have realized and become frustrated with is the way in which the power of the gospel is watered-down or minimized. I liked that DeMuth began her book with the importance of the gospel and how important it is to be in the Word if we are committed to giving our everything to God.

But my favorite quote from this section came from the chapter on worry...

"Worry is needless. It doesn't enhance our lives, give us joy, or produce a longing for renewal. It simply looks at the existing stress lurking in our lives, enlarges it to monster proportions, then immobilizes us from growth."
Mary DeMuth, Everything

Section two deals with the heart. DeMuth addresses issues such as how dwelling on past failures can prevent future faith growth, the fierce power of control, and choosing to allow ourselves to heal from past traumas or mistakes.  I loved how DeMuth ended this section of her book with a reflection on how to not be too hard on yourself! As a perfectionist I often find myself falling into that trap, instead of applying Christ's principles of humility and forgiveness to my own life.

"Why do we tend to love everyone else, offering grace and forgiveness aplenty to others, but we cannot extend that same grace to ourselves?"
Mary DeMuth, Everything

Everything concludes with a reflection on the applicability of how one lives. Some topics discussed are money matters and how worrying about money is really distrust in the Lord's provisions, what happens when you don't succeed, the power of community and being wise and intentional with one's relationships, and what I found to be most personally conflicting - wanting a painless Christianity. Don't we all like to be safe and comfortable? Yet DeMuth presents the challenge that we can only experience real growth when we accept the discomfort of making difficult decisions or sacrifices for the Lord.

"Without the heart of Christ in the center of our actions, we cannot sustain our growth."
Mary DeMuth, Everything

While I didn't find the content of the book to promote any dramatic revelations, I did feel that DeMuth presented topics that I struggle with (i.e. control, loving those who hurt us, confrontation, etc.) and did so in a manner that was thought provoking and prompted spiritual reflection. 

Additionally, at the end of each chapter, DeMuth included discussion questions. Although I did not read through this book with a group or bible study I still found the questions helpful in really pausing and reflecting back on the information I had just read.

(I was provided with a copy of Everything by TLC Book Tours for agreeing to complete this book review.)

1 comment:

  1. I'm glad to see that this book made you think. Thanks for being on the tour!