Annoyingly Good Books That Ask You to Change Your Heart

“Preach the gospel always; when necessary use words.” - St. Francis of Assisi

“We have shrunk Jesus to the size where He can save our soul but now don’t believe He can change the world. – Anonymous

“Two thousand years ago, the world was changed forever by just twelve. It can happen again.” Richard Stearns, "The Hole in Our Gospel".


I hate when I read books that leave you no choice but to re-examine and probe at your own heart and intentions and everything that makes up the core of your very being.


I hate it even more when I find out that I'm not quite where I thought I was and that I have been sunken into complacency for longer than I realized. It sucks.

I just finished reading a book called "Crazy Love" by Frances Chan. This book got me thinking and actually did its job of cornering me with questions of where I stood in my own relationship with God. If what I have with God now has evolved into a habitual religion--the very thing I was trying to avoid. It's a bummer to be cornered with questions like that. It made me really appreciate the book and at the same time want to shut the book and hide it under something so it wouldn't come out and ask me those questions again.


A Jesus freak and close friend of mine, who has also read "Crazy Love" and liked it deeply, suggested that I read "The Hole in Our Gospel" by Richard Stearns, former CEO of Lennox. She basically told me that if "Crazy Love" made me feel a bit crappy, The Hole In Our Gospel would really might “lovingly” make it worse, i.e, would challenge me in a way that’s necessary, but uncomfortable. I am barely a few pages into Richard Stearns book and already I want to bury it along with "Crazy Love" so that it won't force me to look in the mirror and ask myself some tough questions.

Please hear me when I say this, especially if you don't consider yourself Christian or a God-believer or into that "religious stuff". When I say that that these books made me feel crappy I say it with a bit of a laugh because it's actually a good thing that I have this realization of just how flawed I am and how much deeper I could get with God. I don't think God, let alone these authors, are intending to make people believe there is no hope for them and that it’s your fault the world is the way it is. Rather, I think what they're saying and even begging the world is to take the time to shake up their belief and see if the foundation strength is where it should be. Especially if you've claimed the label "Christian".

As I turned the pages of Crazy Love and now am turning the pages of The Hole in Our Gospel, I am reminded that sadly, I've become lukewarm for a God who has a burning and passionate love for me from the moment I was a mere thought to Him. A Holy God that deserves no less than everything from me. It's a humbling type of unconditional love that I've barely understood a fraction of. It's like I want to say "Wow, God. You're so, so awesome. And I can't believe I actually suck this much! But wow, you still want me near you? Really?"

Again, I can't describe it. Pick up Crazy Love and The Hole in Our Gospel. This is a shameless plug for these books but I promise you it'll give you more than just a good heart tug. It'll actually make you want to do something with what you've read.