I’m not one to make book recommendations, but three books have recently jumped out at me as must-reads and I just have to tell you about them and encourage you to read them.
Author: Roland Muller
Summary: It is really easy for us, in the States, to look at things happening around the world and say, “That’s so wrong!” and yet we don’t look at it from the eyes of that culture. There are three types of cultures: Guilt-based, Fear-based, and Shame-based. How would our understanding of world events change if we understood the cultural approach to those same situations? After reading this book, while I still don’t agree with the way countries approach situations, I can better understand why things may happen the way they do. I highly encourage you read this book. While it gives great explanations to all three cultural viewpoints, it especially focuses on the viewpoint that affects my part of the world. Honor and shame are driving factors in everything that happens here and as you gain a better understanding of how it infiltrates their every thought, word and action, you’ll be able to understand the events that are happening all over...even as it flows into the US.
Author: Brian Fikkert & Steve Corbett
Summary: You know those short-term trips you go on? You know that service project you did? You know how you come home feeling like you’ve changed the world? Did you? What if you caused more harm than good? We don’t often think about that going into a service project or a short-term trip. We believe (and with good intention) that our small investment will make a big difference. Sometimes it does. But what if we actually caused a lot more harm than good? I’ll admit that I’m extremely guilty of this. Even as I serve here, I have found times when I have thought I was doing right by getting people help and actually brought more harm to them in the long-run. It’s hard to accept. This book does a wonderful job of talking about how we, as Americans, can ensure that our time, resources, and effort are actually helping those around us instead of hurting them. As much as we don’t like to hear it, we’re not always the solution.
Author: Francis Chan
Summary: I’ll admit that I’m only on chapter 4, but I still can tell you this is a must read. It is challenging, humbling, and forces you to really look at the depths of your heart...and yet it is gentle and loving. I’ve heard people use the term “velvet hammer.” It hits you over the head, but feels so good in the process. That’s the best way I can describe this book. He hits at core truths and yet does it with gentleness and love. He also has videos on his website www.crazylovebook.com that accompany each chapter. Don’t expect this to be a quick read. You’ll need time after (or during) each chapter to reflect, pray, and search the Word of God. You won’t regret it, though.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on these books!