I love book reviews, especially when the person writing the review tell how the book affected them.
First of all, on a scale of 1-5, I give this a 5+. Second I had never heard of Brant Hensen but I am now reading my second book by him, Blessed are the Misfits.
Third, most books I read are people who are in ministry full time. But this guy is a radio host and a full time Christian.
Fourth, what made me buy it was he writes on a subject that is dear to my heart and yet the subject that can destroy my life if I let it, anger.
Let me just give you a couple of the questions from the back of the book jacket, it might draw you in like it did me.
Isn’t taking offence normal? Aren’t we suppose to get offended?
Isn’t anger at sin justifiable? If God gets mad, why can’t we?
Brant Hansen asks a radical, freeing question. What if Christians were the most “unoffendable” people on the planet? And He offers a life changing idea: “righteous anger” is a myth, and giving up our “right” to be offended can be one of the most healthy, simplifying, relaxing, refreshing, stress reliever, encouraging thing we can do.
Now here is how this book has helped me but first let me say, he says nothing new or anything I did not already know. The pastor I got saved under always said, repetition is the best way to learn and I totally agree. I have read countless books on “anger”, Hansen formula is not new, people have been writing about it since the beginning of writing things down. Ever since the first sin of unbelief when Eve was challenged if she really believe what God said about eating that one fruit, the results of it begin to manifest itself in anger, which led to wrath and a brother killing a brother, and the host of all sins.
Hansen puts it simply, I can choose to be offended. Right off the bat he lays it back on me, not the one who offended me, but little old me. We do not have the right to be angry, we are told to forgive. Both cannot exist together.
Personally I can remember believing I had every right to be angry, (offended) at how my Dad treated me, my mother and two brothers growing up. Let me give you a little taste of the word he used to describe us, “pitiful”. Start every day of your life with that word bouncing around in your head. He was a drunk, abusive father with no affection toward us or anyone for that matter. Don’t you think I have the right to be anger about what he did to us?
Had God not come into my life and I believed He sent His Son to die for me I would still be living with that anger boiling inside me. That was just the start of a journey of learning forgiveness trumps anger any day. If I could trust God for my eternal salvation I had to trust Him for the whole package..
I love the way Hansen put God’s spin on, “righteous anger”. I quote, “we like being angry. We don’t like what caused the anger, to be sure; we just like thinking we’re “got” something on someone. So and so did something wrong, something horribly wrong, and anger offers us a sense of moral superiority. Righteous anger is tricky, it turns out I tend to find Brent Hansen’s anger more righteous than others anger, This is because I am so darn right” ( you have to read this book so you will get the full affect of this principal that God laid down from the beginning, it’s the principal of GRACE. )
More from Hensen: The thing that you think makes your anger “righteous ” is the very thing you are called to forgive. Grace isn’t for the deserving. Forgiving means to surrendering your claim to resentment and letting go of anger. Anger is extraordinarily easy . It’s our default setting. Love is difficult. Love is a miracle.
Back to how this book personally affected me. I have noticed my awareness is more keen when I get angry. Hansen never says we will ever get to where we never get angry but when our thinking changings we can lesson the time it stick in our mind. Like our pastor said, you cannot keep the birds from flying over your head but you can keep them from building a nest.
The nest of hurt from my Dad has affected me all my life. I try to deny it by saying I have forgiven him and I have but here is how it manifest itself in the present day. I transferred that hurt over my Dad to all men. Being a survivor from an abusive home is hard to get over. Trusting is a major problem for me. Let me define that more, trusting any men is a problem for me. Any man includes my husband. Learning that I was to be submissive to him even when I did not agree was a like an electrical shock going through me. If I agree with him no problem. I tell him all the time we women understand submissive on a deeper level. I don’t believe that as strong as I use to but if I am not careful I will use it as my default to not forgive him. I can, like everyone else, submit and not forgive at the same time. Forgiveness goes deeper then submission or so I think.
To choose and I praise Him for the gift of choice, to choose to not be offended is exactly what Christ did as they crucified Him and He said, Father forgive them, they know not what they do. The day I looked at my Dad, all broken, in a wheelchair, his mind gone and realized through God’s power that He died for Him and He shed the same amount of blood for him as He did me was where my journey of shedding my anger, one step into truth at a time started.
If you looking for a book to challenge your heart over being offended, look no more. His book along with many others and sermons is what keeps me daily reminded this is a journey and it will not be over till Jesus calls me home.
Read a good book lately, could you leave the title in a comment please and if you wish a brief or long reason why you liked it, what did it help you with. Or if you are like me, did it make you want to give it to someone so it can help them also. I love to pass on good books to others. Hope you do also.