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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A Book Review: {not a fan. Becoming a Completely Committed Follower of Jesus} by Kyle Idleman


There are couple things that were said that I didn't completely agree with, but overall, I feel this is a great book to get you really thinking about your relationship with God. Am I "all-in"? Am I committed? Am I a fan, or an "enthusiastic admirer," that is running lukewarm for Christ, instead of on fire?

At the beginning of this book, I would answer wholeheartedly that I am a follower of Christ. In all honesty, this book revealed to me that I'm not 100% completely committed. When I'm honest, I put other things before God. Not all the time, but sometimes. Do I surrender all? Do I die to self everyday? It's sad to say the answer to these questions is . . . no. I can be full of pride, I can be selfish, I can be judgmental. I'm a sinner, but I love the Lord with all of my heart! I am in awe of God, the gift of His son, His sacrifice, His love for me, and His amazing grace. I believe that Jesus is the answer to everything. But have I fully committed myself to following Him? No. This book has shown me that I need to step it up, because I'm not as "on fire" as I thought I was. I don't want to be lukewarm. I don't want there to be a disconnect between what I believe and what I do.

As I mentioned, there were some things I didn't completely agree with. When Kyle mentions things like, "We looked at our finances and figured out what changes needed to be made so that our offering to God was more than our house payment" (page 60), that came across a little unrealistic to me. I don't believe that our offering has to be more than our house payment to be a fully committed follower. Maybe that's not his point, but that's how it came across to me. Also, when he mentions things like adoption, missions trips, and foster parenting, I know he was giving examples of things one can do as a follower of Christ, but it came across to me as . . . if you're not doing these types of things, maybe you're not really following Christ the way you should. I don't believe that God calls everyone to serve in the same way, so maybe He has called me to something "smaller," I need to be faithful in that place, and not feel like less of a follower because I'm not going on missions trips, or adopting a child, or being a foster parent. On page 206, he lists some questions where he asks things like, "Have you exchanged following Jesus for a job that pays really well? Have you exchanged following Jesus for a house that has all of the upgrades?" My immediate thought was, can't someone have a good paying job and a nice house and be completely committed to God at the same time? Of course, I would say absolutely, yes. So these things threw me a bit, and maybe I misinterpreted what he was saying. Bottom line, as Christians we have to put Him first above all else. He needs to be our one and only. And when He calls us to do something, we need to be willing to say yes . . . "wherever, whatever, whenever."

I appreciate the fact that this book makes one really take an honest look at their relationship with Christ. I appreciate that it has made me reevaluate what I've been doing, and it's given me the push that I need to go deeper in my relationship with Christ, and that's always a good thing.

Since I've finished this book, it's really got me thinking. Honestly, I'm confused. Is it truly black or white? Is it really fan or committed follower, and no in between?  If I'm not 100% ALL OF THE TIME, does that mean I'm not a committed follower?  I don't know, that's a hard pill for me to swallow.  I know that God doesn't expect perfection. We are human, and we do fall short of the glory of God. I feel like there are times that I'm just not going to get it right.  Isn't that where grace steps in?  And that's certainly not to say that I would take advantage of God's grace, and just do whatever I want, whenever I want.

I know that He wants all of me, not 50%, not 90% . . . all of me. I get it, and I'm ready to pick up my cross, and follow Him.

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