Sunday, September 29, 2013

Forgiveness by Matthew West

Matthew West, a popular Christian musician, invited people from all walks of life to share with him their stories of forgiveness.  The result is this small book and several songs that the stories inspired.

The stories are divided into sections: Forgiving Others, Asking for Forgiveness, Forgiving Yourself, and Embracing God's Forgiveness.  After each story is shared, the author writes a few pages expanding on the theme and sharing his own experiences and Scriptures.  I was very impressed with the way the book was organized and how well it flowed!  Forgiveness is a tough topic, but I think it was presented here in a way that was easy to understand and interesting to follow.  I'm sure every person can relate to at least one, if not many, of the stories laid open on these pages.

The story that spoke the loudest to me was written by a pastor's wife.  She says "I never expected the sources of my greatest hurt in life to come not from people in the world, but from people inside the walls of a church."  After being a pastor's wife for only 3 months now, I could relate so well and was able to benefit from the lessons she and her husband learned.  Her husband (also Matthew West's father) shared with him these words, "Son, people will let you down.  Even God's people will let you down.  Your mom and I will let you down.  But you must keep your eyes on God at all times.  You cannot let your view of God be tainted by the imperfections of His people." Amen.

For fans of Matthew West's music, this book will explain what inspired several of his newest songs.  Songs like "Forgiveness", "Restored", "Hello, My Name Is", and "Love Stands Waiting" were all written in honor of a person's story.  Hearing those stories forever changed the meaning of the music for me. 

I highly recommend this book to anyone who struggles with or wants to understand more about forgiveness.  It really can set you free.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from BookSneeze in exchange for an honest review.

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