Parenting by the Book Review: Holy Discontent
by Sylvia Cochran
HOLY DISCONTENT: Fueling the Fire That Ignites Personal Vision
Holy Discontent: Fueling the Fire That Ignites Personal Vision
Penned by Bill Hybels, one of the most respected authors in the Christian movement and also the senior pastor of the well known Willow Creek Community Church located in Illinois’ South Barrington. He makes no bones about the fact that in order for a congregation to be spiritually healthy, the men – and women – leading it need to be on the top of their game. Ready and willing to lead, challenge, comfort, call higher, and inspire a group of individual believers who come from all walks of life takes a level of dedication, spirituality and vision that requires frequent and consistent encouragement and honing, especially when considering that church leaders are just like the other members of their congregations: sinners who have come to experience a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. There, but for the grace of God, go they – Pastor Hybels recognizes the challenge of leaders and Willow Creek collectively and Mr. Hybels individually seeks to help leaders gain or regain their vision and strength of conviction with a ministerial outreach program that spans the globe.
Yet what about the individual member of the church – who will reach her or him? What about the man or woman who was brought into the church by Jesus Christ but is still mending a broken heart, overcoming the scars left behind by faithless and destructive living, or who is just now able to shake lose the fetters of addiction? What about the Christian who has been at it for a while but gradually – or so imperceptibly – backslid and suddenly finds that the fire that once burned so bright in her or his heart and mind has lessened and is threatening to extinguish altogether? What about the disciple who is struggling with having a daily time with God, reading their Bible and praying, and who can barely keep a head above water? What about those who – between family, work, social requirements, and church demands – feel they have no ounce of energy left to give?
Who can inspire them? Who can accept them for who they are and where they are in their spiritual walk – free from condemnation, judgment, and eyebrow raised with condescension? Who will applaud even their smallest steps taken in faith? Who will not compare themselves to these members of the body of Christ and heave a relieved sigh that there is someone else who is – spiritually speaking – worse off? Jesus will! And Pastor Hybels is close at His heels with some help to fan the flames of holy discontent once more to make them red-hot with passion and love for the Christ!
HOLY DISCONTENT is not written for the apologist expecting clever twists and turns taken from odd translations of biblical texts. Instead, it is like a dose of down-home cooking: honest, without frills, aimed straight for the heart, and perfectly balanced. Pastor Hybels makes exemplary use of his gift to inspire others to re-discover their relationship with God in a Kennedy-esque “ask not what your God can do for you, ask what you can do for your God” opportunity of self-examination. Firmly convinced that no church member is meant to simply warm a pew on Sundays, Bill Hybels offers examples of ways that the Christian in need of a vision for her or his life may find it. Those who have already caught the vision are helped to take it to the next level and find new and more creative ways to go beyond obstacles and self-proclaimed barriers in an effort to live out their life’s mission – whatever it may be.
For pre-teens and teens, this should be required reading simply because it helps a new Christian or soon-to-be Christian catch the vision God has for their lives. Christian parents will find that they do not have to put their life’s mission on hold but instead will be able to continue on in their work for God with creative ways of including children and other family members. Single Christians will learn that it does not take a marriage partner to embark on one’s life mission, while married Christians will revel in the fact that holy discontent may be had at different times by either partner and that this is, indeed, ok!
It is the perfect book to read if you need help in finding your life’s mission. It is essential if you are stumped and afraid that you are losing your zeal. It is vital if you have lost sight of your mission altogether or perhaps realized that the mission you were on was not actually the one outlined for you by God. Real life examples, contact information for resources, and the underlying message that “yes, you CAN do it”, permeate the structure of the book and make it one of the most valuable books around in the Christian Living section today. You will be surprised to notice how a short book of only 149 pages has the power to change your life forever.
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