This book pisses me off.
And by "pisses me off" I mean makes me angry at myself and discontent with the state of my heart and actions frequently. 
I started reading it in Belgium, with the intent of finishing it and going on to read four other books within the span of the four weeks I was there (which is completely possible for me), but no. This book requires stopping and thinking, and resting and refueling, and INTROSPECTION. It talks about being a fan of Jesus or a follower of Jesus, and which one are you? Going into it I was very much like "of course I'm a follower, I've given up stuff to follow Him, and I'm committed to loving Him most in the world" and while that is still true I am realizing that I am not sold out in every aspect of my life so needless to say, this book rocked my world. And I'm not even done! 

This is a book that if it was up to me, I'd buy tons of copies and hand them out, even to my really 'Christian' friends (that's slight sarcasm if you can't tell. People need to read this, especially the ones who think they've got it all down, myself included) It changed how I look at my life and my dreams, and truly my everyday thought process. I'll be sitting with one of my friends trying to explain my life along with these changes and she's nodding, but in my heart all I can think is "you don't understand! I have a new definition of a sold out follower and YOU'RE NOT GETTING IT"
---->Now prepare for this to be a long post. Because I'm about to start quoting from the book.
Things that are awesome and have changed my world in a frustrating but good way:
1. Fans Get Burned Out
I get frustrated when I see my friends being stupid.
I have issues with letting them 'be who they are' when who they are isn't them.Here's an example in case I'm not making any sort of sense:
I've known Lily (or LilyPad to her friends and family) since she was born. She's vibrant, talkative and likes to come next door (to my house), knock on the door and ask if my mom and I can come and play. She loves that my cats are literally 'scaredy cats' and she has big blue evocative eyes. One day her sister Cora wasn't moving fast enough on the slide, so as I watched, Lily grabbed innocent Cora's arm, and bit down as hard as she could. I was BEYOND shocked. That is not something LilyPad would normally do! That is not the beautiful girl I know! 

That's how I feel when I hear about my friends...being stupid. Making bad choices that they write off in their head as it being okay because it's 'their own life'. But really I do the same thing. Things I didn't deem as bad, but really our hearts are in the same not pretty place. 
Here's what this book says: (also quick context: Fans are the people who leave when the going gets rough because their hearts were never in it. Followers are followers till the end, because they gave their hearts away to who they follow a long time ago)

Fans of Jesus sooner or later find themselves exhausted. Fans grow tired of trying to maintain an outer appearance that doesn't match an inner passion. They find themselves weary of trying to keep all the rules in hopes of somehow earning God's favor. And I want you to know, before we go any further, that Jesus came to free you from religion. To those who have been hauling around a long list of rules. To those who are pretending to be more than they really are. To those who are weighed down with the fear and guilt of religion. To all the fans who are worn out on religion, Jesus invites you to follow him:
      Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me--watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly (Matt.11:28-30) - Jesus

There's a difference between being passionately in love with someone and just following them because you feel you should. There'll be other posts about this book, but for today...this is enough.
Suffice it to say that I can't shake this book. I can't live the same. And it sometimes makes me angry! haha. 
Martin Monacell
8/8/2011 01:00:31 am

Great response! Definitely need to read this book


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