Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Book Review: Love Walked Among Us

Love Walked Among Us: Learning to Love Like Jesus. Paul E. Miller. 2001/2014. NavPress. 272 pages. [Source: Library]

Want to learn to love like Jesus? Consider reading Paul E. Miller's Love Walked Among Us.

The book is divided into five parts: "Love Shows Compassion," "Love Speaks the Truth," "Love Depends on God," "Love Is Energized By Faith," and "Love Moves Through Death Into Life."

Miller presents the life of Jesus in detail. By studying the life of Jesus, by reading carefully, reflectively, prayerfully, what can we learn about how Jesus loved? But it isn't just a book about what Jesus has done--how Jesus has loved--it's a book challenging readers to love as Jesus loved. It aims to practically teach believers to love like Jesus.

Of course, I appreciated the premise of Love Walked Among Us. And I did enjoy reading it overall. But it almost felt weighed down by personal stories and examples. The focus seemed to be exclusively on learning to love like Jesus loved within specific roles. How learning to love like Jesus can make you a better husband or wife. How learning to love like Jesus can make you a better father or mother. I wish it was less exclusive, that the examples were less so. The principles are solid enough however.

I've also reviewed Paul Miller's A Loving Life.

Favorite quotes:
When we love we cease to be the master and become a servant. (32)
We analyze one another all the time… Analyzing provides the disciples with a safe and tidy world that keeps everything in its place. So they talk about the blind man while they are right in front of him. But Jesus moves toward him, makes mud, and touches his eyes. Jesus lowers himself in order to care, while the disciples elevate themselves in order to judge. The disciples see a blind man; Jesus sees a man who happens to be blind. The disciples see an item for debate; Jesus sees a person, a human being like himself. They see sin, the effect of man's work; Jesus sees need, the potential for God's work. The disciples see a completed tragedy and wonder who the villain was; Jesus sees a story half-told, with the best yet to come. It is one thing to notice a blind man; it is quite another to stop and talk with him--that gets scary. He might ask for money or interrupt our schedule… Compassion affects us. Maybe that's why we judge so quickly--it keeps us from being infected by other people's problems. Passing judgment is just so efficient. (39)
The first step toward God is realizing you are on the wrong path going the wrong way. It's actually quite freeing if you think about it. With your mask off you can get real and relax. When we realize that we don't have it all together, we can care for people because we no longer feel morally superior to them. Consequently, we are quicker to help than to give advice, quicker to listen than to lecture. (55)
Unless you deal with "self"--with human ego--focusing on rules is like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic while it is sinking. (59)

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

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