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Review: Outlive Your Life by Max Lucado

Outlive Your Life:  You Were Made to Make a Difference is based on the premise that “God has given this generation, our generation, everything we need to alter the course of human suffering.”  In 16 story-filled chapters Lucado first reminds ordinary Christians that the gospel is foundational to all their efforts.  He then discusses opportunities and character qualities that effective Christians need to consider.  A detailed study guide concludes the book.

My first reaction to this book was negative.  I disagree with the premise that our generation has everything we need to alter the course of human suffering.  Much suffering is beyond our ability to help, although some, such as hunger and loneliness can be significantly reduced. 

I also question whether it should be our goal to try to repeat the early church experience. And does the church really exist “to open doors, break walls, and restore relationships?”  The Lord Jesus warned that following Him may, in fact, have the opposite effect.

Despite these issues, however, Outlive Your Life can encourage us “to love your neighbor as yourself.” It covers prayer, hypocrisy, compassion, acceptance, hospitality, and more, in stories that we can all relate to.  The study guide gives many practical suggestions for a life of service.

Through Lucado’s gripping stories, Outlive Your Life could encourage and empower Christians to serve the suffering.  Unfortunately, some of its premises may not be valid.

Disclosure:  As a BookSneeze reviewer, I received Outlive Your Life for free from Thomas Nelson in exchange for my honest opinions.

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