The Book sucked me in right from the start by talking about two possible paths for the Christian to take in life: PLEASING GOD or TRUSTING GOD. At first glace, I saw the PLEASING GOD path as the best. It sounded a lot more “spiritual,” but it actually ends up being the least graceful. It leads to a room called, “GOOD INTENTIONS,” that is opened by the doorknob of EFFORT and is full of people who put on a facade because they feel no one (Including God) would accept them as they really are. I quickly realized that many times I have mistakenly taken this route in life and was miserable as a result.
The path of TRUSTING GOD is just the opposite and leads to a room called “THE ROOM OF GRACE.” The doorknob of HUMILITY opens this room and it is characterized by people who want to grow and trust God and others with who they really are. This involves faith. The Bible says that without faith it’s impossible to please God. (Hebrews 11:6)
Everything in the book is hung in some way on this allegory.
One of the most refreshing parts of the book was when God is depicted as showing all His cards (chapter two) in the ROOM OF GRACE by rhetorically asking Himself:
- What if I tell them who they are?
- What if I take away any element of fear in condemnation, judgment, or rejection?
- What if I tell them I love them and will always love them? That I love them right no, no matter what they’ve done, as much as I love my Son? That there’s nothing they can do to make my love go away?
- What if I tell them there are no lists? What if I tell them I don’t keep a log of past offenses, of how little they pray, how often they’ve let me down, made promises that they don’t keep?
- What if I tell them they are righteous, with my righteousness, right now?
- What if I tell them they can stop beating themselves up? That they can stop being so formal, stiff, and jumpy around me?
- What if I tell them I’m crazy about them?
- What if I tell them, even if they run to the ends of the earth and do the most horrible, unthinkable things, that when they come back, I’d receive them with tears and a party?
- What if I tell them that if I am their Savior… they’re going to heaven no matter what –it’s a done deal?
- What if I tell them they have a new nature –saints, not saved sinners.
- What if I tell them that I actually live in the now. That I’ve put my love, power, and nature inside of them, at their disposal?
- What if I tell them that they don’t have to put on a mask? That it is OK to be who they are at this moment, with all their junk. That they don’t need to pretend about how close we are, how much they pray or don’t, how much Bible they read or don’t.
- What if they knew they don’t have to look over their shoulder for fear if things get too good, the other shoe’s gonna drop?
- What if they knew I will never, ever use the word punish in relation to them?
- What if they knew that when they mess up, I will never “get back at them?
- What if they were convinced that bad circumstances aren’t my way of evening the score for taking advantage of me?
- What if they knew the basis of our friendship isn’t how little they sin, but how much they let me love them?
- What if I tell them they can hurt my heart, but that I never hurt theirs?
- What if I tell them they can open their eyes when they pray and still go to heaven?
- What if tell them it isn’t about their self-effort, but about allowing me to live my life through them?
Reading that list of rhetorical questions was the biggest “Ah Ha” moment in the book. I’ve always been able to give a textbook answer of what God’s Grace is, but I’ve never heard it illustrated in quite this way. It really helped me own God’s view of me!
I would classify the book as a DEEP book and not necessarily an easy read…but well worth the effort. If taken seriously, the book forces you to take a good hard look on your life. At times it dealt with issues that were difficult to look at such as forgiveness and repentance. There were times that I just had to stop reading and just let the material soak in, but if you give the book a chance it will open up new understanding’s of God grace. I would recommend the book for those who are hungry to experience more of God grace. I love the way that there is a listing of summary points at the end of each of the chapters.
FTC Disclaimer. I received this book free from Navipress to review and am not obligated in any way to published a favorable review on the book.