Sunday, April 29, 2012

New Growth Press Book Review: Loving Well by William P. Smith

William P. Smith, M.Div., Ph.D., is a pastor and director of the community counseling center at Chelten Baptist Church, Dresher, PA. He has authored the book Caught Off Guard: Encounters with the Unexpected God and numerous minibooks including How Do I Stop Losing It with My Children? and How to Love Difficult People. Bill is regularly invited to speak at other churches and lead weekend retreats. He and his wife Sally are the parents of three very active children. For more information, go to www.surprisedbygod.com. 


Loving Well: Even If You Haven’t Been
By William P. Smith
Releases February 1, 2012     $15.99
ISBN 13: 978-1-936768-29-5
ISBN 10:  1-936768-29-1
RELIGION / Christian Life / Relationships
Purchase Book at:  New Growth Press / Amazon / Christian Book
 
Description
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Trade in Your Bad Relationship Habits for Something Better

Distance. Resentment. Avoidance. You want to love your family, neighbors, and coworkers. But all too often something goes wrong, and you find yourself tearing down the relationships you wanted to build. Are you doomed to keep repeating the same relationship mistakes? William P. Smith explains that destructive relationship patterns no longer need to control you. Experiencing God's love will change you, so you can trade your bad relationship habits for real love. 
 
Review
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When I read the description above, I knew I had to read this book.  I must admit I had a difficult time reading Loving Well because it convicted me to the core. I have never read such an excellent book on the topic of loving others like this one. I found myself reading a sentence and then stopping to think about it.  This book is full of scriptural content and wisdom. There is no fluff, only truth.

After reading this book, I realized I have not been loving others well at all.  I've been a Christian for many years and yet, I have failed at loving well.  This thoughtful book helped me to recognize, accept and learn "how to" love others.
 
The author investigates fifteen facets of the love we experience from God.  He states it is in these ways that God invites us to mature as we relate to other people with love. "We can love other people only out of our own experience of being loved." (xxiii)   He also gives examples on how we can learn to love others.  After each chapter, there are four questions to ponder and answer.  I found this part to be especially instrumental in helping me apply what I learned into my everyday life.  
 
As I read this book, I underlined a lot of it, especially in Chapter 5: Longsuffering Love: Patiently Bearing with Each Other.  There are so many nuggets to ruminate over in this chapter.  I guess it is an area that I struggle with. 
 
Here are a few excerpts that spoke to me:
"A necessary aspect of love, therefore, is learning to live patiently with people as they continue on their own journeys of learning to live more righteously.  That's what loving well is all about: giving people the time and space they need as they grow." (Page 68)
 "Living 'happily ever after' is not the goal.  Living well with broken people is." (Page 70)
 "The goal is not to find the latest, greatest way to turn people into model Christians but to love well the imperfect Christians in front of us." (Page 75)
 "The reality is that even blood-bought, Holy Spirit-filled believers sin.  They sin often and they often sin against you.  Therefore, you need to bear as patiently with them as God does with you." (Page 78)
Loving Well is a very informative and well written book.  I definitely want to read it again with the intention of studying it.  I believe this book could be utilized as a textbook for schools, colleges and churches.  I highly recommend this book to everyone, but especially those who work in ministry, such as counselors, pastors and teachers. 

In conclusion, I want to thank Mr. Roberson from The B&B Media Group and New Growth Press for sending me a complimentary copy of Loving Well to read and review.  
    

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