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This book changed my life

That book changed my life

About 25 years ago I was having breakfast with a friend. He was an editor with a local publisher and we were talking about books. We began discussing a book that we both strongly disliked.

At that point a waitress leaned into our booth and spoke in a hushed voice. “I heard you talking about that book. I did not hear what you said but I want to tell you that book changed my life. Whenever I read it I feel closer to God. It is the most important book I have ever read.”

I sat there listening to her with my head going up and down like a bobble head doll. My friend looked blankly into space until she finished. After she left, we looked at each other, said nothing, and finished breakfast.

It is not about you

I regularly have coffee with a friend who’s finishing a career as a leader in book publishing. When I told him that story, he smiled and told me that he often spoke to his editors and told them, “You are not the reader. It isn’t all about you.”

We need to move outside of our little world

Unless we are hopelessly self-centered, we soon realize that other people are different. They think differently. They feel differently. They respond differently.

The church at Corinth

About 20 years after Jesus rose from the dead, the Apostle Paul wrote his first letter to the church at Corinth. He had founded the church and they had some problems and questions for him. Their messengers asked the questions and told him about the challenges the church faced. Paul first addressed the divisions in the church and then answered their questions. One of the questions was about spiritual gifts. Part of the differences among Christians is the way God has gifted them. There are speaking gifts and serving gifts. There are gifts used in leadership and those used behind the scenes. Some gifts are used in serving those in need and some used to teach those inside the church or respond to critics outside. (1 Corinthians 12-14; 1 Peter 4: 10-11)

Christians are different. Part of Christian maturity is recognizing and appreciating these differences. In an earlier blog I wrote about how these differences are seen in how Christians live in an unbelieving world.

If some one asked you what your role is in the Body of Christ, what would you say?

How have you matured in the use of your spiritual gifts in recent years?

7 thoughts on “This book changed my life”

  1. Bob – this was a great observation. We don’t all think alike! What moves us closer to God might not do the same for someone else, and vice versa. It’s a good reminder for us to show grace to others. Thank you!

    1. So true, Bob. I think the same could be applied to sermons. Sermons that I have thought were “milk toast” where surprisingly a great blessing to others. Not every sermon or every book is going to minister in the same way to the same audience.

      1. I have preached messages I thought were awful, only to have someone tell me later how much it meant to them. Judge according to fidelity with the Word. Leave the results to God.

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