When Life’s Not Working

When Life’s Not Working (Baker Books, 2011)

No one is immune from adversity.  So author Bob Merritt asserts that we face 2 options- the hard life or the harder life.  Essentially life comes down to people, and our choices must be fused to our relationships.

In Part I, Bob establishes the foundations necessary for the Christian walk.  Our lives must be disciplined.  Discipline can be learned and must be practiced so that it becomes automatic.  Having a sacred place helps us to reconnect with our thoughts and feelings.  It wakes up our soul.  This foundation contains the keys to overcoming adversity.

Part II describes 7 practices or rituals we must intentionally establish to live out this disciplined life.  The first is perseverance- hanging in one more day, then one more, etc.  That is possible when we understand that God is with us, we have Jesus’ authority, God has given us talents, He will equip us for service, and we must make ourselves available.  Second, we must manage our loads by living according to our non-negotiable values and setting limits.  Then we must give ourselves time to properly prepare for the service opportunities God will place before us.

Fourth, find our life rhythms helps us develop consistency and effectiveness.  Fifth, “barbed wire discipline” enables us to break off small pieces, which produce big results, rather than tackling the whole problem at once.  Next, stretch yourself by attempting thing that only are possible with God’s power.  Finally, avoid addictive behaviors and letting your emotions rule over reason.

In Part III, the author concludes by encouraging us to: find a trusted Christian friend who objectively sees the “other side of us”, allow God to transform us, and have a softer soul- follow the Golden Rule.

About the author

Dave Henning

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