Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Book Review: What Matters Most by Leonard Sweet

I received What Matters Most by Leonard Sweet for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review. 

We all have relationships, whether we are the most outgoing person or prefer to spend much of our time alone.  In Leonard Sweet's book, what Matters Most, he discusses an overall theme of "Faith Is a Relationship" (Part I) while exploring seven areas of relationship:
  • Our Relationship With God (Part II)
  • Our Relationship With God's Story (Part III)
  • Our Relationship With Other People of Faith (Part IV)
  • Our Relationship With Those Outside the Faith and With Those Who Are Different (Part V)
  • Our Relationship With God's Creation (Part VI)
  • Our Relationship with Symbols, Arts, Artifacts, and "Things" (Part VII)
  • Our Relationship With the Spiritual World (Part VIII)
Simply by exploring these areas of relationship, Sweet takes the concept of relationship to a deeper level than one might be used to.  We are used to hearing about how to improve a relationship with a spouse or how to have a personal relationship with Jesus in 3 easy steps, but rarely do we hear about the interconnection between these various types of relationships.  

Chapter Nine, "Loving the Others", was an especially powerful chapter.  Sweet writes, "Christianity has much less to do with being 'right' than it has to do with building right relationships--the strong protecting the weak, the rich serving the poor, the insiders making room for the outcasts" (pages 133-134).  It is through these relationships with "the other", Sweet explains, that we find God becoming human in the stranger.  

In a period of time where many people are searching for good, healthy relationships, but have difficulty finding them, Sweet's book would be a good one to read to in order to get focused on the journey with God and others that we take.  It will cause one to evaluate what one really is doing in one's relationships and inspire and encourage a person to go deeper and be more authentic.  

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