Fess up—you know someone who is far from lovable. Well, at least you don’t find them very loveable, even if their mother does. It would be nice if everyone with whom we ever came in contact was one of those nice people, but God in His infinite wisdom created all of us as individuals, in His image, but still individual. Which means that Tab A doesn’t always fit Slot B. It doesn’t come naturally to us to love some of those Tab A’s that don’t fit our Slot B. And then God decided that even though we’re different in many respects that we’re supposed to love our neighbor. Even when we find that neighbor fairly unlovable. Oops!
And my take away from Rick Bezet’s book Real Love in an Angry World: How To Stick to Your Convictions without Alienating People (Baker Books, 2017) is that speaking the truth in love is, in God's eyes, a much better alternative some of our natural tendencies. And of course the flip side is also true, quite often I’m one of those unlovable people; maybe you are too.
Bezet looks at some of the problems we have dealing with other human beings and offers some suggestions for getting on track. Sometimes that means learning to listen, sometimes it’s seeking counsel before acting on what we think we’ve heard, and sometimes it’s asking for help interpreting what we just heard. And maybe it means getting a different translation of a bible, one written in language that you understand.
The book is an easy read, and Bezet has a charming sense of humor that comes through in his writing. And it’s all interspersed with solid theology, and pertinent biblical references.
An enjoyable read, and helpful pointers for loving the neighbor—even when.
I received a copy of this book from Baker Books in exchange for this review.