Monday, May 2, 2016

(Un)qualified by Steven Furtick

I'll let you know up front that I'm a fan of Steven Furtick.  He writes and speaks in a way that connects with me.  This book originated from an event in his life in which a well-known preacher called him "unqualified."  As he searched and wrestled with the truth of this claim, the content of this book began to take shape.  What do we do with our weaknesses and struggles...those things that make us unqualified for what we've been called to do?

I will admit that the first third of the book seemed a bit drawn out to me.  Steven introduces the idea about the "third words" that we call ourselves (I am _____).  These first 5 chapters are all basically explaining some errors in the way we think about ourselves.  I found myself thinking "I get it...let's move on..."  If you feel the same way, rest assured that the book does pick up the pace.

The main benefit of this book is that it gives a good dose of perspective in how to view our weaknesses.  We learn from the story of Jacob in the Bible that God can't bless who we pretend to be.  We need to embrace who we are, letting God's strength be seen through our weakness - while at the same time allowing God to grow and change us during the journey.  Steven writes that "often our greatest influence is birthed in our deepest suffering and brokenness."  Being real and authentic is what helps us to connect with others.  Weaknesses also remind us to turn to God and trust him instead of relying solely on ourselves.  If you frequently get discouraged about your apparent lack of growth or qualifications, I encourage you to read this book to reset your thinking.  We are all broken to some degree, but God can still use us just where we are.

In conclusion, Pastor Steven is honest and real about his own brokenness and gives some solid advice and perspective to those who also get discouraged with their own struggles.  I don't think that the book flows as well as some of his previous ones, but it's definitely worth your time to read.

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

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