A Different Kind of Happiness: Discovering the Joy That Comes from Sacrificial Love
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A Different Kind of Happiness: Discovering the Joy That Comes from Sacrificial Love

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A Different Kind of Happiness shows you a love that is deeper than being nice and serving others. It's a love that relates to others in such a way that they feel heard, seen, and valued. A love that sacrifices and suffers and keeps loving, even when doing so is costly. This kind of love, says Dr. Larry Crabb, is the kind shown to us by our Creator and Redeemer--and it's the kind worth fighting for in all of our relationships. Paperback.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 256
Vendor: Baker Books
Publication Date: 2017
Dimensions: 9.00 X 6.00 (inches)
ISBN: 0801015340
ISBN-13: 9780801015342

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Publisher's Description

How to Love When You Don't Feel Like Loving

Everywhere we look, we see evidence that love is in short supply. Terrorists and political corruption, school shootings and troubled marriages, impatient online sniping and character assassination--all point to the fact that we do not know how to love one another as Jesus commanded and modeled. We put our own interests and happiness first, despite the fact that the greatest happiness comes through sacrificial love.

In this book, Dr. Larry Crabb shows readers how to understand the deep and perfect love we are shown by our Creator and Redeemer, and how to pour that love into other people. This love is about more than being nice and serving others. It's about relating to others in such a way that they feel heard, seen, and valued. This love sacrifices and suffers and keeps loving, even when doing so is costly. This kind of love, says Crabb, is the kind worth fighting for in all of our relationships, and A Different Kind of Happiness shows how to make it a reality.

Author Bio

Dr. Larry Crabb is a well-known psychologist, conference and seminar speaker, Bible teacher, popular author, and founder/director of NewWay Ministries. He is currently scholar in residence at Colorado Christian University in Denver, and visiting professor of spiritual formation for Richmont Graduate University in Atlanta. Dr. Crabb and his wife of almost fifty years, Rachael, live in the Denver, Colorado, area. For additional information please visit www.newwayministries.org.

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  1. Michele Morin
    Warren, Maine
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    A Theology of Happiness
    August 9, 2016
    Michele Morin
    Warren, Maine
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    When I pause for a minute to ask my self what I really want in life, my unedited first response is . . . well, embarrassing. I want to be happy, and my shallow definition of a happy life looks something like this: a vehicle that never breaks down, children who behave well and experience a measure of success, a maintenance-free house, and a healthy body. Now, truly, there is nothing wrong with any of these lovely things or even with my desire for them. However, life on a fallen planet makes their simultaneous fulfillment unlikely, at best. This is why those of us who believingly follow Jesus Christ must find our way to A Different Kind of Happiness one that does not depend upon a problem-free life.

    Larry Crabb offers helpful clarification for my happiness-seeking heart by tying my understanding of happiness to the notion that happiness comes from loving others sacrificially. Because this flies in the face of our instinct for self-protection and desire for instant well-being, Larrys argument unfolds over the course of over two hundred well-constructed and earnestly compelling pages.

    Weve long distinguished between happiness and joy, but Larry uses the words interchangeably, instead creating two helpful categories of happiness:

    Second Thing Happiness which requires at least some of the things on my list in order to feel good;

    First Thing Happiness which is entirely different and develops when we struggle to love others with a costly love that is possible only if we have a life-giving relationship with Jesus that is grounded entirely in His love for us.

    Does this sound unrealistic? Does it sound as if it contradicts what we know and experience on this narrow road that leads to life? No one would argue with the truth that the happiness and joy that Jesus experienced in His time on this planet came from giving Himself. And only the gloomiest of theologians would argue against the notion that God is supremely happy, and that He wants to draw us into that happiness. Yet, at the same time both Old and New Testaments describe Jesus as a Man of Sorrows and acquainted with grief. He was a free agent, entering into suffering and doing it on behalf of unworthy people, (Romans 5:7,8).

    The good news that God draws us into involves life on a narrow road. For Larry Crabb, this has included a cancer diagnosis, ongoing treatment over a period of years, several recurrences, and now a new episode of treatment being ushered in just as he was grappling with the concepts in this book. Misery like this is just one of the symptoms of this life under the sun. However, Scripture, prayer, and a life centered around spiritual discipline offer us a glimpse of life from above the sun in which we pray for grace to relate to others in a loving way that puts Him on display no matter what our outward circumstances. Larry calls this the prayer that God always answers.

    The jarring truth that we look for our happiness in all the wrong places is supported by two facts that sound distinctly heretical: (1)Sinful urges come from a place within us that is experienced on a deeper level than our redemption; (2)Sin delivers a pleasure that Jesus never provides.

    If thats the case, then, how is it possible to find happiness along with a life of holiness?

    In order to compete with sins appeal, holy desire, the longing to live a Christlike life that displays the relational beauty of Christ to others, must be rooted in faith. And that faith exists only when it is lodged in the certainty that soon it will give way to an incomparable experience of joy that will forever destroy the appeal for sin.

    The goal of Christlikeness is always a long way off, but life on the narrow road is designed to squeeze the unholiness out of His followers, leaving them free to follow hard after the prize of knowing God at any cost and to hate anything that obscures the reality of Gods loving presence.

    The antidote to our persistent Broad Road Thinking is a heavy dose of the Gospel which Larry examines in the context of seven probing questions:

    Who is God? God is relational, a three-Person community of love, fully committed to the happiness of others. Even His glory is relational.

    What is God up to? He is devoting His unlimited resources to forming those who receive the gospel into disciples who relate like Jesus.

    Who are we? We are relational persons with a potential waiting to be realized, created to know joy in knowing God, with potential to put Jesus on display.

    Whats gone wrong? As a race, weve rejected Gods identity as the source of all that is good. We look elsewhere for goodness and happiness.

    What has God done about our problem? He killed His Son. Of course, this will seem of little consequence if we persist in settling for Second Thing Happiness.

    How is the Spirit working to implement the divine solution to our human problem? This side of heaven, we experience the Holy Spirits presence most richly in our darkness and distress and His power most potently in our weakness and failure.

    How can we cooperate with the Spirits working? By never giving up on ourselves and others; by battling for a better love and seeking to truly know one another; by giving in both word and deed.

    What would happen if we threw ourselves into this battle for a better love? The happiness that Jesus experienced on this Earth coexisted beside the worst kind of anguish and suffering. It was fueled by deep and significant relationships. Truly His narrow way is the way that leads to life.

    //

    This book was provided by BakerBooks, a division of Baker Publishing Group, 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.
  2. bookwomanjoan
    Oak Harbor, WA
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Difficult book to follow
    July 31, 2016
    bookwomanjoan
    Oak Harbor, WA
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 3
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 2
    I have good news and bad news about this book.

    First the good news. This book contains much good information and teaching. Crabb draws from his seventy plus years of experience and ministry to encourage a new way of living. He argues that the best kind of happiness comes from our doing what Jesus wants of us, giving ourselves to others. He calls on us to recognize how we don't love like Jesus does. He writes that this love is deeply relational, is sacrificial, and is not just doing good deeds. It develops, he writes, when we struggle to love others with a costly love that is possible only if we have a life-giving relationship with Jesus that is grounded entirely in His love for us. (20)

    There were a couple of sections in this book that I found particularly interesting. One was Crabb's exploration of happiness and joy and the difference between the two. The other section was on prayer. Crabb writes about asking in faith and receiving, based on Matt. 21:22. He shares his own disillusionment with that concept and clarifies what he believes Jesus was really saying. He adds that Jesus Himself practiced conditional prayer, If it be Your will. Crabb realized, Jesus taught one kind of prayer and practiced another. (60) His continuation on the topic was very enlightening, including identifying the prayer God always answers.

    Now the bad news. I found Crabb's writing style hard to follow. Many of his sentences are very long, with a couple of dashes and with lots of commas. I often had to read a sentence several times to try to understand what he was communicating. And why did he ask all those questions? (A random count on pp. 176-177 yielded fifteen question marks.)

    I almost felt like I was reading along as Crabb himself tried to understand what he was saying, clarifying his own thinking. He makes these revealing statements: I did not begin writing this book with a well-worked-out set of ideas that I wanted to teach you about what it means to live your life on the narrow road. I rather began with questions I felt were important enough to explore, and as I do so I'm feeling a few familiar truths coming freshly alive in my mind. The fog is lifting from two truths . . . (90-91) And, This book is a story unfolding. I did not begin writing with a well-developed message that I was confident I could articulate. I expect to complete the last chapter with more loose ends hanging in my mind than in yours. (185)

    It seems this is a personal account of Crabb trying to understand his own spiritual condition. He asks, for example, Am I a spiritual man, a Spirit-filled disciple of Jesus? Ask me that question and most often I will feel immediate discouragement. (193) He goes on to question whether he has been receiving evil lies about what a Spirit-filled disciple is like as spiritual truth. That was disconcerting to me. I would hope that Crabb, in his seventies, would no longer be questioning such things.

    If reading a book where the author is thinking through his message as he is writing appeals to you, then you may like this book. If you would rather read an organized and well thought out message that has been edited for clarity and comprehension, you may need to look elsewhere. There is a great deal of good material in this book about relational sin and what God desires of us. I just wish it had been presented in a more cohesive manner.

    I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of an independent and honest review.
  3. cici
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Love is Love
    July 18, 2016
    cici
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    Quality: 0
    Value: 0
    Meets Expectations: 0
    If I were to tell you that there is a book that will show the way to lead and create a better life through His teachings of happiness would you read it? Well you should because the sad state that our country has found itself at this very moment needs everyone to go back to the grass roots of pure joy the way it used to be and the way He wanted it for all of us to have in our lives. I believe A Different Kind of Happiness: Discovering the Joy That Comes from Sacrificial Love by Dr. Larry Crabb to be a rarity in the spiritual growth category and needs its own designation altogether. I thought this was going to be the kind of book where they would be 10 steps to finding the inner strength to change oneself it was not that at all. Simply put Dr. Crabb states that we need to sacrificially love it can be that easy just like Him. I have to admit this seems like something completely foreign to me but absolutley necessary in our lives. Must read! I was given a copy for this review from Baker Books Publishing and all opinions are my own.
  4. Clay
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Challenging
    July 17, 2016
    Clay
    Quality: 0
    Value: 0
    Meets Expectations: 0
    Some books can be read quickly, gathering a few facts or ideas. Other books are read for pure pleasure where you loose yourself in the plot. Then there are those occasional books that need to be read slowly, chewed on, and reread to get the greatest value. Dr. Crabbs book on Happiness falls into the latter category.

    Group 1 Christians, group 2 Christians, group 3 Christians, second thing happiness, first thing happiness, the broad road, and the narrow road are all interlocking categories that Crabb weaves together to point us to what true happiness is. In short, true happiness is found by group 3 Christians walking the narrow road, finding first thing happiness. Christ is the ultimate example of a human who found true happiness this side of heaven.

    Crabb is very clear to point out that what passes for happiness in most peoples lives, and in most western churches is not true happiness, rather second thing happiness, in the same way that a good meal brings happiness to an empty stomach. First thing happiness is found often in the midst of pain, trouble, heartache, and difficulty.

    To Crabb, our lives are a story. The narrow road is a path that takes us precisely into the battle between the two stories, between our will and Gods will. The unholy trinitythe world, the flesh and the devil attempt to seduce us to live a life of self-protection and self-enhancement. We are being called though, by the Holy Trinity, to live a relational dance of love. In that dance, we may be hurt, suffer heartache, and not feel earthly happiness except in living and acting like Christ.

    In Crabb style, he ends each chapter with a question that is answered in the following chapter. He leads us through the stages necessary to leave the compulsion to cling to second thing happiness, that ultimately doesnt satisfy. Instead he reveals the battle to walk the narrow road that might be very rocky and difficult, but will bring happiness of the first thing kind and prepare us for heaven.

    Ill be ruminating over the contents of this book for some time to come.

  5. Gini
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    A Different Kind of Happiness: Discovering the Joy That Comes from Sacrificial Love
    July 6, 2016
    Gini
    Quality: 4
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 4
    Who doesnt want happiness, but what makes for our happiness? Where do we find that happiness? Crabb tackles these questions head on in this book. But, this is no afternoon read with a few pithy sayings to soothe your psyche. The Dr. in the line with his name is that of clinical psychology which he practiced as a Christian counselor for a number of years. Hes most likely to say hes heard it all. So this book goes a bit deeper than most. A lot deeper than I had anticipated, in fact.

    I found the book to be one that I had to put down and think about what I had read for a while before going on to the next chapter or even paragraph in some cases. He has done much thinking about what he puts on the page. Research too, but not just to have an impressive bibliography or set of endnotes. The text, however, is not textbookish. Instead I found it quite accessible, but as I said before in another way it is also dense. This one will take time. While I have read this book, I feel like I need to re-read it to fully grasped what he is saying. I may even find the need to amend this review.

    What does he talk about in this book? For starters he differentiates between sorts of happiness or joy. One being derived from good things that please me and another sort that I have to see or even search for the good from a much larger perspective. A perspective that includes more than me and mine clear out to the God view. As we read we discover the two get confused and co-mingled for most of us. The rest of the book examines different facets of that basic theme couched in the narrow way and the broad way of life. Always though he reminds the reader that we are essentially a work in progress or thats the way I understood it. Let me be as clear as I can be about one thing: loving like Jesus means loving people while they sin and not loving them more when they celebrate victory over some specific sin. But let me be clear about one more thing: even the most spiritual among us will never love exactly like Jesus in this life. (38) Encouragement and truth will be mixed as this small quote shows.

    If you have found that you want more from life or your relationships including your relationship with God this book might be the starting point in discovering the joy that comes from sacrificial love like the subtitle says. It will at least give you something to consider whether you choose to agree with it or not.

    I received this book from the publisher in return for a review.
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