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Curiosity is essential to growth. A little curiosity moves us deeper into the lives of the people around us, opens up opportunities we never knew existed, guides us through our own strange emotions, and, if focused on Jesus, will make us more like him.
In Becoming Curious pastor and spiritual director Casey Tygrett winsomely and humbly invites us to let go of our own expectations, plans, or desires in order to see the world with childlike wonder. Full of profound wisdom and contagious passion, Tygrett illuminates the essential spiritual discipline of asking questions, demonstrating through Scripture and story how a little curiosity opens up new ways of knowing God and knowing ourselves well.
|Format: DRM Free ePub|
Vendor: InterVarsity Press
|Publication Date: 2017|
"In a world that is brimming with redemptive potential, Becoming Curious winsomely invites us to receive the fullness of every moment. Humble curiosity is the gateway to formation, to learning and swimming into the deeper streams of faith. Casey masterfully shows through Scripture and story how the art of curiosity can form us more into Christlikeness. Profoundly thankful for this book!"
—Steve Carter, teaching pastor, Willow Creek, author of This Invitational Life
"Questions are rarely allowed to linger in the air for too long before someone feels compelled to answer them. Rather than let our curiosity lead us more deeply into understanding God or one another, we rush to certainties and supposed sure things. In Becoming Curious, Casey Tygrett reclaims the transformational power of a curious question for the faithful, encouraging believers to do what may seem counterintuitive in our culture—to ask another question rather than find a quick answer. While reading this book, I had the distinct feeling that Casey crafted these words with great humility in his heart and a smile in his eyes—the kind that only comes from a man who has released his right to know everything and rests well in the presence of Jesus. Casey Tygrett is one of my new favorite authors and Becoming Curious is an anthem of hope for believers who have grown tired of well-oiled religion."
—Emily P. Freeman, Wall Street Journal bestselling author of Simply Tuesday
"When I started reading Becoming Curious, I had intended to finish it over the span of a week. I finished it in one day! My friend Casey Tygrett has given us quite a gift in this book. You will find it a resource that will help you and others grow in faith and love. Be prepared to be encouraged, challenged, and strengthened."
—Caleb Kaltenbach, lead pastor, Discovery Church, author of Messy Grace
"The word that keeps coming to mind as I read Becoming Curious is 'humility.' Casey Tygrett invites us onto the path of Christlike humility in such a winsome and humble way. But don't mistake it for simplistic or shallow. There is a profound wisdom on every page that feels hard fought and God given—and these depths can only be received by humble curiosity. This book will change you if you let it."
—Aaron Niequist, worship leader
"There is no one better than Casey Tygrett to ask the penetrating questions that will bring about the life Jesus truly wants us all to have. In Becoming Curious, Casey invites us into to a life that focuses more on asking better questions than finding better answers. Join Casey as he teaches us how to stay curious and transforming in our lives with Christ."
—Tim Harlow, senior pastor, Parkview Christian Church, Orland Park, IL, author of Life on Mission
"Five words came to mind as I read this book, and each term stuck with me the entire book: fresh, suggestive, reflective, penetrating, and lasting. In Becoming Curious, spiritual formation is approached from an angle I've never seen: curiosity. Each chapter is question based enough to open up suggestions that led me constantly to reflection. At times the reflections became deeply penetrating, and as I have lived with Becoming Curious, the book lasts. You might put Becoming Curious back on your shelf, but don't be fooled: it will come back in odd moments to further reflection."
—Scot McKnight, Julius R. Mantey Professor of New Testament, Northern Seminary
"My friend Casey Tygrett not only gives us permission to become curious disciples, he shows us why it matters and how to do it. Beautiful! Casey's singular objective is to ignite our minds with Jesus' invitation into a life of kingdom curiosity. Majestic! I wholeheartedly recommend this book."
—J. K. Jones, pastor of spiritual formation, Eastview Christian Church, and coauthor of We Speak
"This book is filled with possibility, opportunity, and adventure. Casey's passion for the church is inspiring and his care for God's people is infectious. I love what he is calling us to. Read this book and refresh your soul!"
—Naeem Fazal, Mosaic Church
"Curiosity may have killed the cat, but for Casey Tygrett it is also an essential ingredient to human growth. It takes only a little curiosity to move us toward knowing our friends better, to stumble across unforeseen opportunities, to understand our own thoughts and feelings. Pastor, blogger, spiritual director and author, Tygrett takes an engaging approach to being more curious. When we stop asking questions, he says, we give up. That's how asking questions becomes a spiritual practice."
—Chauncey Mabe, Success Magazine, April 28, 2017
Michele MorinWarren, MaineAge: 45-54Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5The Spiritual Practice of CuriosityAugust 3, 2017Michele MorinWarren, MaineAge: 45-54Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Part of the delight of spending time with my tiny grandson is that he takes nothing for granted.
Bam, why bubble pop?
Because you stood on it.
Well, good question. Why indeed, but our conversations routinely run on in this vein of relentless curiosity. They move forward not because Bam comes up with anything like satisfactory answers, but because the two-year-old mind has jumped the rails to a new topic.
Historically, the church has an uneasy relationship with curiosity, beginning with the Son of God Himself receiving flack throughout His earthly ministry from the anti-questioning party in power at that time. Casey Tygrett invites Jesus present-day followers back into the spiritual practice of Becoming Curious, beckoning readers into the tension that holds opposing concepts in a space that waits for answers from all the multitude of possibilities.
Risk and Tension
Jesus, the whole and beautiful, jumped into the mess of a broken-down world and created tension galore, so it should not surprise us when our own risky ponderings lead us into uncomfortable territory. Jesus twelve learners were continually yanked into a right understanding of all they did not know by Jesus search-light words:
What do you want me to do for you?
Posed to James and John (Mark 10:35,36) when they were gunning for the corner office;
Posed to Bartimaeus (Mark 10:47-52) the blind beggar who made a ruckus and sought healing.
Its startling to see the question posed in both settings (Had you noticed it before? I hadnt.), but regardless of their initial intent in coming to Jesus, His unexpected question certainly let them know that they were in for more than they had expected.
The Critical Questions
Throughout the book, Casey Tygrett repeatedly argues for the utter necessity of curiosity for our spiritual formation. When Jesus probed the disciples (Mark 16:15) for their interpretation of His identity, it was certainly not because He was unclear on this point. The truth for 1st-century and for 21st-century learners is that our answer to the question Who do you say that I am? defines the core of who we believe ourselves to be.
What practices, habits, attitudes, and realities are now possible because he is who he is, and therefore I can be the same?
With so many cultural and, face it, religious influences seeking to name us against our will, a right understanding of our identity in Christ allows us to cling to our real, God-engraved name.
Hearing the Why
Pressing into a spiritual practice of asking questions holds the door open for those in the following life to move beyond the basics of what and how questions and to live our way into the world of why. Its our motives that shape who we are, and rather than pasting a list of legal requirements to our exterior selves, Jesus challenges believers in the practice of becoming:
Become the kind of person who can forgive beyond the seventy time seven.
Become a lover of the neighbors who act in an unworthy and annoying way.
Failure as Spiritual Formation
Curious living extends two challenges in the uncomfortable realm of failure:
Learn to understand and embrace our failures as part of who we are;
Repent of our old ways of seeing failure.
In His recorded dealings with the failure of biblical characters, God goes on record as One who meets murderers and cheaters and weaklings of all types with grace and forgiveness. What if part of the all things in Romans 8:28 that God promises to use for our good and for the fulfillment of His holy purposes includes (gulp) our failures?
Rituals, Routines, and Disciplines as Part of the Curious Life
Again, the important question in the following life is Why? If Im doing something because I want to earn favor with God, or because I think I can control some outcome in my life by it, then its likely that a ritual or routine has become my master. God has ordained certain practices of godliness because He wants to cut thick neural pathways in our minds that allow wisdom to flow continually. We show up in front of an open Bible each day, not because its a lucky rabbits foot and my day always goes better if I start with Scripture like a multi-vitamin, but because this is the path of formation that makes me into the kind of person who is able to discern the voice of God from all the screaming banshees inside my head.
Casey invites readers to keep a Questions Journal as they read and provides prompts at the end of each chapter that prime the pump. I was surprised at what came bubbling to the surface as I scribbled questions into my notes, and I invite you to start reading Jesus biblical questions with a bit more involvement. What if you were face to face with Him over coffee, and He asked, What do you want me to do for you? What comes to mind first?
As we persist in our asking and in our listening, may we find that our questions become bolder and that we begin searching to know Him rather than merely to know about Him. The spiritual practice of becoming curious is Gods gift to His people, and He has equipped our souls to take the shape of an explorer into the deep things that will change our way of seeing the world. Are we curious enough to follow Him there?
This book was provided by the IVP Books, an imprint of InterVarsity Press, in exchange for my review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255 : Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.