Gray was shocked into facing the reality of his life when his wife said she was leaving him. A successful pastor, author, and speaker, he realized he had success on the outside but was a mess on the inside. He took stock of his life. He has written this book to help us do the same.
Gray uses the life of the biblical character Jacob as a framework for his teaching. He writes about God using broken areas, the importance of knowing who we are in Christ, that winning from within is facing ourselves and realizing victory really happens at the spiritual level. Gray desires we listen to the Holy Spirit as He speaks to us about our character. We are to listen to faithful friends who tell us the truth. We are to recognize the hope we have in Christ.
This is an encouraging and thought provoking book. It is encouraging because we see how Gray dealt with a revealing time in his life. Apparently it didn't interfere with his ministry at all as he is now senior pastor of a large church. I also found the book thought provoking and perhaps a bit troublesome. While Gray does a good job of giving life changing principles from the life of Jacob, I missed deep and personal feelings of transformation from him. I felt Gray's experiences have become teaching points and the opportunity to write a book. His writing style seemed to lack a personal level to it. He mentions writing songs at the beginning of his career. “The songs were beautiful. But the songs have no human attached to them.” (Loc 1592/2305) That's sort of how I felt with this book. He uses “we” and “us” rather than making the lessons personal. I just didn't sense the brokenness and humility I would have expected after his wife said she was going to leave him.
I recommend this book as it is a pretty good study on the life of Jacob and what it has to say to us about our transformation. Just don't expect a personal account of how the Jacob like experiences changed the author.
My rating: 4/5 stars.
John W. Gray III is the Senior Pastor of Relentless Church in Greenville, South Carolina (formerly Redemption Church). He continues to serve as an associate pastor at Lakewood Church in Houston. He was named to Oprah's Super Soul 100 and his show, The Book of John Gray, airs on The Oprah Winfrey Network. He lives in Greenville, SC with his wife and their children. You can find out more at http://johngrayworld.com/.
FaithWords, 224 pages.
I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.