From winter 2005 - Driven beyond the call of God (Book Review)
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Are you a driven person? Do you think you drive yourself too much? This book will help you answer these questions and do something about it. Pamela Evans is a doctor who is also a counsellor, and investigates some of the reasons behind spiritual 'drivenness' and 'workaholism'. 'Anything that's used to alter our mood or block out troublesome feelings is potentially addictive', she writes, and gives the example that some people can be 'addicted' to helping others in the church. She helpfully warns against co-dependency where someone's whole life is focused on the needs of others. Such people's helpful manner, she suggests, attempts to cover up their own deep needs. She warns against religious activity becoming an end in itself; people can easily get trapped on a treadmill of compulsive church activity at the expense of a vibrant relationship with the living God.
The title of the book derives from Jesus' words: '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 – 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' (Matthew 11:28-30, The Message). Evans sees learning the rhythms of grace as keeping in step with God as he directs our path, rather than following a set of instructions. She gives examples from her own experience of how easy it is to 'put on a show' rather than to be honest with ourselves and with God. She encourages us to do the latter so that we can become more mature in Christ.
This is a challenging book. It is well written in a lively style and with many examples from daily life. I definitely recommend it for anyone in the caring professions, very busy in the church or who thinks that they may be doing too much.
Article written by Dominic Beer