outlive your life by max lucado

Allow me to begin this review with two confessions: a) I’m not a huge fan of Max Lucado’s books [admittedly having read maybe only one or two in the past], based partly on the fact that this one in particluar is endorsed by the likes of Kathie Lee Gifford [enough said], and b) I am generally skeptical of books that feature several different variations (ie: a version for children / teens, a participant’s guide, an inspirational booklet, church DVD, music CD, desk calendar etc.) Knowing that this book was a product of both, it might seem off that I would bother to request this book to review. Suspecting that most who would request this book would be the kind of people who might give it a glowing if not uncritical review, I decided to have a go at it and maybe offer a different perspective.

While I can’t say that, in my reading of Outlive Your Life, many of my fears in regards to these kinds of books weren’t realized, I also can’t say that I wasn’t sometimes pleasantly surprised along the way. For what Lucado might lack in theological depth, he makes up in his ability to tell stories [my favorite of which, in this book, being his take on Ananias and Sapphira], and these stories root simple biblical truths into the fabric of the realities of every day life with a view to spurring the reader into action.

In Outlive Your Life, Lucado takes the reader through the book of Acts, examining the lives and work of the earliest followers of Jesus, and, in so doing, encourages us to consider what kind of impact could be made in the world if we were only to step out and do likewise. While the task of setting the world to rights seems like a daunting task, in light of the litany of deep-seated issues that we see playing out around every day, Lucado repeatedly argues that none of us can help everyone, but all of us can help someone. In taking the time to seek out ways to make a positive impact in the lives of our neighbors and in the world at large, we engage in very real acts of serve unto Christ himself, and, in Lucado’s words, who would want to miss a chance to do that?

Maybe I’m succeeding in my quest to become less cynical, and maybe I’m learning not to pick at everything I read in the name of theological snobbery, but I came away from a reading of this book feeling encouraged to get off my donkey and put into action that which I believe. And, in this case and in only light of the overarching call to all those who would seek to follow Jesus, maybe it’s not a bad thing that there are several volumes to this book, because it’s a message that all who have ears should hear. [Having said that, there are several similarly themed books that I would recommend way before this one.] Plus, the back cover tells us that 100% of the author’s royalties will be given to World Vision / other faith-based ministries of compassion [yes, a very vague statement that may or may not be comforting], so perhaps some good can come from simply reading the book.

There you have it – a somewhat ambiguous review based on my honest thoughts on a book that I probably definitely would not have purchased / read had I not received a free copy, but one that I am glad that I spent some time with.

*Note: This book was provided free of charge from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze book review bloggers program.

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  1. July 8th, 2014
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