2018: Book #51
“You know that feeling when God is right there, this close, and you can just feel His loving arms right around you, and you can literally hear His voice whispering in your ear, telling you how much He loves you? I don’t. I never have.”
That’s how Brant Hansen opens his book, “Blessed Are The Misfits: Great News for Believers who are Introverts, Spiritual Strugglers, or Just Feel Like They’re Missing Something.”
This is a valuable book. It should be read by worship leaders, pastors and believers who criticize others for not “feeling” the right things during a service. It’s for those who have never felt anything yet still follow Jesus.
He writes that he’s an introvert with Asperger’s syndrome. He asks an important question. And makes thought-provoking statements such as: If you look at the fruits of the Spirit, emotions are not listed.
We sing songs that give us goose bumps and make us cry. But let’s be careful. That’s probably not the Holy Spirit. It’s the music changing some chord progression and it triggers an emotional reaction.
Is Hansen saying God doesn’t work through worship and so on? Absolutely not! He’s simply making the case that we shouldn’t mandate an emotional response. And, he’s right.
I’m an emotional creature. I’m boisterous, loud and very much an extrovert. But I’m a conservative Presbyterian. I’m part of a church and denomination that guards against equating emotions with a move of God. For that, I am thankful. It helps me keep my focus on Jesus rather than being in a constant search for an experience.
Hansen also writes the following, which I hope leads you to buy his book:
“I hope when you’re done with this book, you’ll see God still loves people like you and me, people who sometimes genuinely don’t understand what people are doing or feeling or thinking when it comes to religious stuff.”
“We don’t need to wallow in guilt. We need to stay faithful. We are waiting, and waiting is hard, but the waiting will end. That’s the promise.”
“By design, God’s family, the church, is a beautiful, messy, refreshing, and often very awkward thing.”
I agree with Brant. The Puritans taught that God never leaves, but He often would remove the ability to feel Him.
This is a worthwhile book. Read it. Be encouraged. Be faithful and keep following Jesus. He’s there keeping His promises even if you can’t feel Him.
I give Hansen’s book 5 out of 5 stars.
That’s book #51 for 2018.
1 final book remains before I reach my goal of #52in2018.
Remember, all leaders are readers.
If you want to be a better leader…be a reader.