Vicki Courtney started this book with an attention grabber. Which made my expectation for the book soar. For the most part, my expectation was met.
Vicki talks about the messy side of Christianity. You know, how we’re not all perfect. How under the facade, many, if not most or all of us, are hurting and wounded. She gives us permission to be free of the facade. She tells us that Mercy meets us in our mess; even if fellow Christians won’t. She tells us we need to realize that our greatest need has already been met…that “we need to live up to what we already have in Christ” I believe that’s her goal, to get Christians out of their comfort zone of plastic smiles and “I’m fine” with our brothers and sisters in Christ, when we’re in pain on the inside. She’s pointing us back to Mercy. Helping us see past our pain and hurt and propelling us forward to see that His mercy has already met us, but we’re holding ourselves back from moving on.
This was the overall theme of the book. Through realizing God’s greatness, through His mercy, we can find forgiveness from God and for ourselves. She states that “to carry shame after receiving God’s provision for it (sin) is to doubt the power of the cross” She encourages us to accept the grace God has given us and live to in confidence instead of the same old rut.
Each chapter lines out a theme. She gives us a story relating to the topic in each chapter. Many of them are her own personal experiences. Vicki covers some of the “big” sins including those who have had an abortion, the shame of impurity, and some of the “smaller” sins; our desire to be liked, idol worship and legalism. There are other topics Vicki covers too. Every chapter had some compelling points to be made, although the book does move a little slow toward the end (of course I was reading it in the middle of the night, so maybe it was more me, than the book). I especially liked her chapter on “us and them” We are all very good at separating ourselves from the “worst” of sinners, and yet we refuse to realize that WE are part of those “worst” of sinners. But God in His mercy can meet us where we are and give us what we already have in Him.
Overall an excellent read, many great one line quotes and solid, compelling information that could help many to get past the comfort of plastic smiles to the place of being real with who we are in Christ. Not a sinner saved by grace, that sinner was crucified with Christ; but a saint adopted by Him and fellow heir to the Kingdom. Vicki encourages us that we should live like the saint instead of being stuck acting like sinners.
I received this book free in exchange for my review from http://www.booklookbloggers.com