This book caught my attention with the statement on the cover "Pastor Colin Smith opens up the Ten Commandments to show how there is more to them than meets the eye". I love insights into scripture and hearing of other people's revelations, so I dove into this one.
Colin has broken the chapters down to align with the ten commandments. The titles of the chapters reveal a little of the direction he is going in each:
1. Your struggle with God
2. Your struggle with worship
3. Your struggle with religion
4. Your struggle with time
5. Your struggle with authority
and so on.
In the introduction he states: 'God is love, and He calls us to pursue a life that reflects His character. That's why He gave us the Ten Commandments. They show us what God is like and spell out the meaning of love. The reason we should not commit adultery is that God is faithful. The reason for not bearing false witness is that God speaks the truth. The reason for not coveting is that God is content in Himself. This is what God is like and since you were created in His image, this is the life for which you were made'. I have never heard this expounded in this way before. For me that was revelation and clarity all in one shot and we're just getting started!
In the first chapter he talks about pursuing a life of loving loyalty to God. He states in one part that whatever dominates your thoughts, goals, conversations, whatever is the first love of your life - that is your god. He speaks of turning from what offends God out of love for him - some good stuff there too.
The next chapter, I was struck by this part: "Idolatry involves putting the things we love in the place of God or seeing God as a means of getting the things that we want, and that's the second great struggle of our lives"p31 And another quote: 'David Field says, "The explosive power of the living God cannot be harnessed. He is never at our disposal. We cannot bargain with him. He is there to be worshipped, not to be manipulated." p33. Wow!
I could go on, but I will let you get it and find out for yourself how great this book is. For me, I love to be challenged on things - for things I hadn't thought of previously to be brought to my attention from a spiritual light to live a life more pleasing to God. This is definitely a keeper and I would highly recommend it. Very practical for those really seeking to draw nearer to God.
Also there is a study guide at the end. This would most definitely be an excellent book to do in a small group setting. Very thought provoking to say the least.
Please note that I received a copy of this book for purposes of review however this review is entirely my own.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through Moody Publishers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with theFederal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255 : Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
The 10 Greatest Struggles of Your Life provides a detailed in-depth look at the Ten Commandments and what they look like in your own life today. Each chapter starts out with a question which the reader can apply to their own life. These questions cover; loving God unconditionally, worshipping God, manipulation of God, balancing life, respecting and loving those around you, what negative feelings we have towards each other, Sexuality, Taking and giving, your words and trust, and your heart.
The 10 Greatest Struggles of Your Life gave me a new perspective on my life, the way I live my life, and how the Ten Commandments go along with that life as a guide.
The 10 Greatest Struggles Of Your Life by Colin S. Smith is intended to help the reader utilize the Ten Commandments in order to discover areas of your life that are out of sync with God's will, and receive wisdom to help you break through these struggles. The book contains an introduction, ten chapters, and a 30-page study guide to help you apply the lessons from each chapter. Each chapter is written to address a strugglereflectingthe commandment it shares a number with. The struggles (in order) are God, Worship, Religion, Time, Authority, Peace, Purity, Integrity, Truth, and Contentment.
First, the things I like about this book...In the application suggestions (in the included study guide), there are three suggestions given for each chapter: Baby Step, Substantial Move, and Radical Life-Change. This allows the reader to find an application that correlates with their current level of progression on their spiritual journey... I also like that each chapter is broken into several segments, making it easy to read portions of it when you can't get a long block of free-time.
Unfortunately, my list of dislikes is longer than my list of likes. I spent most of my reading time trying to figure out the intended audience (knowing that somehow it wasn't me). It seems to jump back and forth between speaking to the new-believer and the longtime Christian, without much time spent in between the two. This could lead to a lot of confusion for new-believers, as well as potentially leaving them feeling very inadequate for the journey, rather than embracing it. Also, several parts of the book seem to be redundant and jump around a lot so it's hard in places to figure out what point the author is trying to make.
Honestly, my strongest complaint about this book is more of a warning than anything else. I think the subtitle (Finding Freedom In God's Commands) could be misleading to the wrong person. I'm at the point in my journey where I'm struggling with self-worth and shame, and was hoping that said "freedom" could help me embrace God's love and forgiveness more fully by rediscovering the Ten Commandments. That's why I got this book. However, most of the book is dedicated to pointing out our short-comings as humans and how we all fall short of perfection, and that none of us can live up to these Commandments. While I agree that we all sin and fall short of perfection, and that we all need God's forgiveness and redemption, focusing on your short-comings is not the best way to feel "freedom" if you are already in a pit of despair. I fear that to the wrong person, this book could simply add fuel to a chaotic spiral and make their already low sense of self feel even more devastated.
So, please, only read this book is you have a relatively strong sense of contentment with where your life is at this present moment, and are looking for ways to build a closer relationship with Christ by tightening your level of commitment toward following His example. This book is not recommended for use to build contentment if your present life is radically different than how you would desire to have it.
Overall, I'm giving this book 3/5 stars.
*Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this honest review.*
10 commandments is what God gave us for instructions but this always leads us to Jesus Christ our saviour. We all need Jesus so we can be saved. If we truly repent from our sins and ask Jesus into our heart and life we can be saved.
I was searching for some good resources on the Ten Commandments and found this book in my quest. It is both challenging and encouraging. Every Struggle points to our need for Jesus and the goodness of our Loving Father.Colin does an excellent job of representing the scripture in a way that is relevant to daily life.