Well this was an interesting book, I’ll tell you that. Craig Groeschel is super honest and revealing about what many Christians (including himself) often think and feel under the surface. With chapters entitled “I Can’t Stand a Lot of Christians,” “I Feel Completely Inadequate,” and “I Have to Work Hard to Stay Sexually Pure,” Groeschel opens the black box of taboo and lays it all bare.
He puts his reader at ease by first sharing his own hangups and struggles in each chapter. Page by page the book is full of stories from his own personal life and ministry. As I read the introduction I still wasn’t sure what to expect from the entirety of the book, and how I would feel about it. I am pleased to report that I think he does an excellent job at “landing the plane” in each chapter. I mean he doesn’t just complain and leave you in a holding pattern, he resolves each issue with maturity and Scriptural insight, while still allowing the reader to feel normal for identifying. He doesn’t waste much time either, which I like. I read almost the whole thing on a plane, and it was easy and enjoyable.
I could really relate to this guy, and I liked him because he was authentic. In my view the greatest contribution of this book is the emphasis on authenticity. For myself, that really lines up with what I am finding in my counseling practice. Authenticity is difficult for people because it is often followed by rejection, judgment, and pain. For most, it is easier to blend into the wallpaper rather than be authentic on something that would make them different from the norm. We all face it.
I am personally feeling called and urged in my spirit to take the more authentic route whenever I can. So I am praying that God will allow me to grow in my awareness of opportunities to choose vulnerability instead of safety. God isn’t pleased with fakeness. He is pleased when we are real with ourselves and with others, and especially with Him. We really underestimate the importance of authenticity. How significant is it for true growth and intimacy in our Christian communities?