Monday, 14 November 2005

I am usually rather suspicious of popular Chrstian books, especially those recommended for whole Churches to read. It always seems a bit like braiwashing to me. However I have had to eat my words a little withthe book I am reading at the moment. I decided that after all the hype about The Purpose Driven Life, that I better read it before I criticised it. And I have been pleasantly suprised.

This year has been marked by confusion for me about what it really means to be live as a follower of Jesus. I am finding the book so helpful for me as I try to remind myself of the central parts of being a Christian. I have had a few issues with it as I have read but overall it has really awakened in me a renewed excitement and passion for my faith and for my relationship with Jesus. It is so easy to focus on issues or the Church and forget about the relationship with God which is supposed to be the foundation of it all.

I have been really challenged about some aspects of my faith. I have always struggled to understand how I can have a loving relationship with the creator of the Universe. I like the idea but the reality has always escaped me. I am finding myself no longer thinking that it is a cheesy notion and instead embracing the comfort of a loving relational God. And it is not as if I haven't been taught this all my life, but for some reason it has never really hit home. Unconditional love is not something I have felt much of in my life and the idea that God offers it to me is quite mind blowing.

In the last wee while I had given up any hope of feeling that passion for me faith that I used to feel as a teenager and that made me sad. I would not give up the maturity I have now for anything, however my spirituality had developed a rather cynical and shriveled appearance. I do feel refreshed again and excited about the reality of Jesus. That it is real and tangible and true rather than a struggle where I have to live up to some impossible standards.

So next time someone recommends a Christian book to me I might not be so dismissive. The Bible is a pretty good read so not all Christian books are brainwashing!

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