Weekend Reading: Weird by Craig Groeschel
Most people may be normal, but their lives seem to be quietly spiraling out of control. They have scheduled themselves into extreme fatigue, often leading to additional stress and even depression. They never have enough money because they have to have the normal possessions. Because they are so focused on money and their schedule is so crowded, their relationships – including their spouse and children – are unhealthy and more of a personal drain than fulfillment. The quest to be normal has people damaging and destroying their current and future relationships by engaging in inappropriate sexual behaviors. Normal has led us down a road to discounting the more important things in life and elevating the less important. Normal clearly isn’t working. What do we do about it? This is the question Craig Groeschel tries to answer in Weird (2011, Zondervan).
The theme of Weird is pretty simple: “…the way normal people live today is miles away from what God intended.” (page 20) Later in the Introduction, he adds this thought:
Instead of living stressed, overwhelmed, and exhausted, you can live a life of meaningful relationships, intentional scheduling, and deep, fulfilling rest for your soul. Instead of choking with constant financial fear and tension, you can let God’s Word lead you along a path to financial peace, margin, and eternal investments. Instead of allowing your marriage to drift into parallel lives or divorce by default, you can experience true intimacy with your spouse. Rather than continuing on the normal sexual path toward pain, emptiness, and idolatry, you can allow God to heal you, change the way you think, and place deliberate safeguards in your life to protect you. God wants you to know him and love him – not just acknowledge him or consider him a cosmic sugar daddy. (page 20)
In examining how we can live better than normal lives, Groeschel lays out five areas where we are called to be a God kind of weird:
There is a section of the book devoted to each of the five themes. Each section is broken down into three chapters. In these chapters, Groeschel examines the problem with the normal life (as it relates to the theme), the way the scriptures call us to conduct ourselves, and some very practical suggestions for overcoming normal experiencing fulfillment.
I like Groeschel. He is a fairly engaging preacher and a solid communicator, but I think he shines most brightly as an author. He fills a void in the Christian Living and Spiritual Growth segments of the Christian publishing market. He speaks forcefully, but not with his own authority. His propositions are thoroughly grounded in God’s Word and common sense. He writes with clarity and humor, which makes him interesting to read. Like his last book, The Christian Athiest, Weird has a great hook. Called to be weird? I wanted to check this book out; and I am glad I did.
Clocking in at under 250 pages and written in a simple, readable style, Weird is a fairly quick, easy read. But be careful not to read it too quickly. Take your time and think about what you are reading. Let the words speak to you. Let the Holy Spirit use this book to convict you to be weird, the God kind of weird.
I heartily recommend this book. I would rate it 5 out of 5 stars. This is a book that is appropriate for any believer, or even an unbeliever. The themes and format of the book would lend themselves easily for small group discussion, or for a pastor or teacher to build a teaching series around.