Book Review and Give Away - Healing of a Wounded Idealist
I've read you should never write a book review of someone you know or love or hate. Surely there are exceptions - after all, Ecclesiastes tells us there is a time for everything. I've known Justin and Irene Renton for a long time - my daughter was the flower girl in their wedding. They are dear friends, and though we haven't been together in the same place for a long time, they form part of my extended "family." Justin and Irene have worked together in ministry for more than 25 years and lead a dynamic, growing, multi-racial church in Johannesburg, South Africa.
All that to say, I'm reviewing a book written by a couple I know and love. I was excited to support my friends. I also I knew they would have incredible insights to share because their shared professional experience.
I'm always looking for another book in my toolbox to recommend.
Instead, this book stopped me in my tracks. Almost as soon as I finished reading through it once I went back through it again. Here's why:
Justin and Irene give us details about idealists, realists, and cynics. They compare reactions of each character type to typical life occurrences. They explore the strengths and weaknesses of an idealist and help us understand how an idealist gets wounded in life.
Have you ever felt confused about the direction your life has taken after becoming a believer? Have you wondered how "things" could get so turned around when you entered this journey full of faith and fire and zeal? Wounded idealists gain understanding and direction to move beyond our wounds and live our best days after experiencing those wounds.
The young in years or young in faith have an opportunity to avoid some wounds by recognizing the difference between being idealistic and faithful. Small choices lead to great rewards.
One woman who read the Renton's book recently told me "I started to realize that I'm an idealist and I think I have been wounded, but because I can be aware it will help me in the future. I could potentially become a cynic, but now I can avoid it."
Those of us who are realists will benefit from understanding family members and friends who experience this world from an idealistic point of view. There is power in understanding each other. Justin explains that the differences in experience and worldview have led to an "artful negotiation" in raising their children, for example.
Justin (the realist) and Irene (the wounded idealist) share honestly and vulnerably about life experiences and how their worldviews were built over time.
Then they present case studies of characters in the Bible that exemplify the wounded idealist and show us how these people grew and changed over time, giving us hope that we can do the same.
"Our stories don't have to end with the wounding, the wounding can be the beginning of wisdom. Elijah went back to the wilderness to seek answers. He found God there." (pg. 54-55)
My favorite chapter was "A Cynic's Question and A Sage's Reply." In this chapter, the Rentons look at a question you might have asked before. "What is up with the snake in the garden?" What was God thinking and why did he allow such a thing? The information on page 105 is pivotal. It's a great discussion - but I don't want to spoil it for you.
Healing of a Wounded Idealist is available from Amazon.com in print or Kindle. I am not an affiliate so I won't gain anything from you placing an order or clicking on the links.
Take a look
I'm giving away a copy of this book. Everyone who comments on the blog or on Facebook will be entered to win. The drawing will take place Saturday, December 17. The winner will be announced in the afternoon, so be sure to stop back - the winner might be you!