Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Book Review: Fearless by Max Lucado

Book Review"...[T]he only thing we have to fear is fear itself..." Those immortal words of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, first spoken during his first inaugural address, are oft-quoted (and oft-misquoted).

In his new release, Fearless: Imagine Your Life Without Fear, best-selling author Max Lucado breaks down fear to its most basic roots. By showing us how large a role fear plays in our lives, Lucado shows us how we allow fear of even the most minor things to dictate what we do, how we live, who we are.

What we fear defines us. Lucado points out how some of the most minor things we encounter throughout the day cause us to worry. Worry is fear -- fear that things might not work out as we wish. Fear that we won't make the payments, or succeed at work, or in relationships. Every time we worry, we are experiencing fear in it's most basic state. It is how we respond to this fear -- these worries -- that molds us and determines if we let fear control us, or if we control our fears.

There are many ways that we may choose to cope with our fears. The most common response is to turn to something that we can control, such as what we eat or drink, drugs, or how we treat those closest to us. We may not be able to control the things we fear most in life, but we can control what we put into our mouths, and many who struggle with fear find themselves feeding the fear, literally, resulting in undesired weight gain. Or drowning their fears with alcohol. Or taking out their frustration with fear by abusing those who are closest to us.

Lucado points out that the best way to deal with our fears is to turn them over to God. The one phrase most often repeated by Jesus Christ during His time on Earth was "Do not be afraid." More than anything, Christ spoke to us about fear. It is in the storms of life that Jesus does His finest work, for it is in the storms that He has our keenest attention.

I learned a great deal about fear and worries from Mr. Lucado in his book Fearless: Imagine Your Life Without Fear, available today from Thomas Nelson. Most importantly, I learned that through anything that happens to me, God is in control, and one thing that God never lets go to waste is bad things. When bad things -- the things we are most likely to fear -- happen to us, God uses them to achieve His divine purpose.

President Roosevelt was only half right: "The only thing we have to fear is" God. Fear of the Lord is the deeply sane recognition that we are not God. A healthy fear of God will arm us to face all of our fears, and to overcome them, through Him.

Whether you are struggling with fear, phobias, frequent worries, or just the stresses of everyday life, Max Lucado's Fearless: Imagine Your Life Without Fear will be a valued addition to your library.

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