Monday, November 29, 2010

Outlive Your Life review

I don't remember where I read this but just before Outlive Your Life came out, there was an interview with Max Lucado in which he said he had realized in all of his years preaching and writing, he had not devoted himself to social justice issues.  He hadn't devoted himself to why poverty exists and what Christians should be doing about it.  Outlive Your Life examines how God changes the world with ordinary people like you and me.  Notably 100% of Max's royalties will be used to benefit World Vision and other faith-based compassion ministries.  I think it's safe to say that this book has diverted his life in a new direction.

Max mentions 3 questions in the first chapter and spends the rest of the book answering them, specifically addressing the church's role with the poor and needy.
1. Had you been a German Christian during World War II, would you have taken a stand against Hitler?
2. Had you lived in the South during the civil rights conflict, would you have taken a stand against racism?
3.When your grandchildren discover you lived during a day in which 1.75 billion people were poor and 1 billion were hungry, how will they judge your response?

The point of these questions is not to make us feel guilty but to start conversation.  To start movement. To ensure that we know we cannot just rest on our laurels as Christians living in America.
"But this much is clear: the storehouse is stocked. The problem is not in the supply; the problem is in the distribution. God has given this generation, our generation, everything we need to alter human suffering." -p. 6
I was in the midst of the Radical Read-Along when I sat down to read Outlive Your Life.  As I expected, Lucado's words nicely complimented Platt's message.  Lucado has a very relatable writing style.  Whether he's sharing a story about a hardworking Ethiopian farmer or reinterpreting a page from the Bible, I find myself understanding these concepts better than I did before.  In some ways I feel that Max shared his heart more here than his other works that I've read.

He makes good points.  We must first of all pray.  We must second of all do our part.  We cannot solve the problems of the world individually but we can do something.  We can make a difference in our corner of the world.  I may not be able to feed a million people but when I start serving at the Soup Wagon, I'll be able to feed the homeless that come for the meal.  Most importantly, when we serve others, we are bringing glory to God's name.

While I think Max could have offered hands-on ideas to supplement each chapter, he has saved that for the Discussion and Action Guide in the back of the book.  I'm glad that it's in there because sometimes we need someone else to jump start the conversation and give us ideas of what to do next.

Do I believe that I was made to make a difference, as the subtitle suggests?  You bet I do.  I'm making changes in my life to reflect that.  Do you believe you were made to make a difference?  And what are you going to do about it?

Disclosure: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their book review bloggers program. 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.

Disclosure: Amazon Affiliate links included in this post.  If you click through to Amazon from HopefulLeigh, any purchase you make supports this site.


  1. yes, I am made to make a difference. I am attempting to do more that makes a difference than simply talk about it. there is a lot to be said about doing. I do appreciate hearing your words and can see in them action.

    I am limiting my visual media intake and replacing it with other media that help to build and encourage me. I listen to my local Christian radio more than I ever have. I am reading more books on Christian living and practice. I am trying to make what I talk about my way of life. A verse that has really stuck out to me lately is Ephesians 2:10: but we are what he has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life. woohoo, I did not have to search my Bible to type it out. It's sinking in as I had hoped and strived for.

    I'm actively seeking opportunities to be involved in organizations that make a difference. I am an active member of my church life, seeking to become more active. I will join the soup kitchen teams in the new year (and deal with the conflict in my work schedule as I commit to it). I am politically active with a party that seeks to make life better for all, not just a few.

    I joined Booksneeze to get new books and to be able to learn more. thanks, Leigh, for being a bibliophile. I haven't got Radical yet (my budget on this pay has been tighter than I had hoped); but am listening to the original sermon series.

  2. Nice review! Since you enjoyed Outlive Your Life, I wanted to let you know about Max Lucado's free online Christmas devotional. You can sign up here: I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!


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