Encouragement :: the book

This is one of the best books I’ve ever read. I read a lot – and I also have a tendency to think that anything I’m experiencing at the moment is one of the best the things ever. (I frequently tell Jenifer at dinner that it’s the best meal I’ve ever had – honestly believing what I’m saying. It is truly a great way to live!) However, this book really is good – I promise.

The whole purpose of this blog is to “share the real me” – to be honest and authentic. The inability to openly share the real me is a barrier to real relationships – first with God and then with others.

This book, Encouragement by Larry Crabb and Dan Allender, provides an excellent framework for doing just that – moving past the barriers of what the authors call “surface community” and into encouragement: defined as “the kind of expression that helps someone want to be a better Christian, even when life is rough.” What is so helpful is the balance and context the authors suggest. In chapter 4, “Total Openness: the Wrong Solution”, caution is suggested: “we have cheapened the idea of sharing to the point where sharing now means to exhibit ourselves rather than to demonstrate Christ to one another.” The foundation for fellowship is a commitment to one another and “to depend only on God for the acceptance we need.” Crabb and Allender warn against sharing in order to find acceptance from others but for the purpose of loving others.

I really appreciate this balanced approach. Most often, communities of those desiring to follow Christ either openly share everything with selfish motives (leading to fractured community) or they share nothing (leading to surface relationships) with protective motives. When Christ is the focus and the fulfillment in relationships, a true encouragement can emerge.

The concept of learning to move past the surface to real encouragement is so vital. And, the book is so well written – the complex issues are discussed concisely and in very accessible terms. Give it a read! You won’t be sorry.

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~ by Ted Wueste on August 23, 2008.

3 Responses to “Encouragement :: the book”

  1. I really appreciate that balanced approach. Sometimes I feel pressured to “bare all” with no real purpose other than to say I’ve done it. The portion I’ve read of the book, I have enjoyed as well.

  2. C’s copy is now officially on my nightstand, thanks. haven’t read Crabb since college and I imagine it’s great stuff with Allender.

  3. I really believe that if we (followers of Christ) embraced the stuff that Crabb and Allender share – it would change so much!

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