Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Review: A Different Kind of Happiness: Discovering the Joy That Comes from Sacrificial Love by Dr. Larry Crabb

Review: A Different Kind of Happiness: Discovering the Joy That Comes from Sacrificial Love
Dr. Larry Crabb
Baker Books

Who doesn’t want happiness, but what makes for our happiness?  Where do we find that happiness? Crabb tackles these questions head on in this book.  But, this is no afternoon read with a few pithy sayings to soothe your psyche.   The Dr. in the line with his name is that of clinical psychology which he practiced as a Christian counselor for a number of years.  He’s most likely to say he’s heard it all.  So this book goes a bit deeper than most.  A lot deeper than I had anticipated, in fact. 
A Different Kind of Happiness: Discovering the Joy That Comes from Sacrificial Love 
I found the book to be one that I had to put down and think about what I had read for a while before going on to the next chapter or even paragraph in some cases.  He has done much thinking about what he puts on the page.  Research too, but not just to have an impressive bibliography or set of endnotes. The text, however, is not textbookish.  Instead I found it quite accessible, but as I said before in another way it is also dense.  This one will take time.  While I have read this book, I feel like I need to re-read it to fully grasped what he is saying.  I may even find the need to amend this review.

What does he talk about in this book?  For starters he differentiates between sorts of happiness or joy. One being derived from good things that please me and another sort that I have to see or even search for the good from a much larger perspective.  A perspective that includes more than me and mine clear out to the God view.  As we read we discover the two get confused and co-mingled for most of us.  The rest of the book examines different facets of that basic theme couched in the narrow way and the broad way of life.  Always though he reminds the reader that we are essentially a work in progress or that’s the way I understood it.  “Let me be as clear as I can be about one thing: loving like Jesus means loving people while they sin and not loving them more when they celebrate victory over some specific sin.  But let me be clear about one more thing: even the most spiritual among us will never love exactly like Jesus in this life.” (38)  Encouragement and truth will be mixed as this small quote shows.

If you have found that you want more from life or your relationships including your relationship with God this book might be the starting point in discovering the joy that comes from sacrificial love like the subtitle says.  It will at least give you something to consider whether you choose to agree with it or not.

I received this book from the publisher in return for a review.

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