Friday, October 7, 2011

Loved As You Are @christianaudio @David_C_Cook

Brennan Manning has long emphasized the importance of grace and God's unconditional love. His speaking and books have touched thousands, if not millions. While I have heard wonderful things about him, I realized I have never actually read any of his works. So my first direct encounter with Manning was through his memoir, All is Grace: A Ragamuffin Memoir.

This book is an exemplar of the power of grace through all circumstances and actions. I was not aware of Manning's history and controversy, although the fact that he has kept and grown in his faith through it all makes me respect him even more so. I think his mantra that God loves us as we are, not as we should be is profound, simple, complex, and deeply meaningful. This reminder can remove shame, which inhibits change, and moves us toward openness and freedom to love God and accept love from God.

An element that particularly stood out over the course of this book was the clear way human relationships affect our relationship with God. The psychological community interested in spirituality have described this in terms of God image. However, Manning's experience with his mother, father, grandparents, siblings, church, and wife vividly demonstrate the power of how we may trust God more or less based on our ability to trust other. And even more so, how much we are willing to believe God loves us because others have or have not loved us.

While only God can love perfectly, this is an important reminder to consistently engage in loving acts and love people as they are. This helps them see the face of God, which is the ultimate evangelism. Manning has done just that for innumerable people.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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