Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Review of Unburdened by Chris Tiegreen

Book Description:

In his Word, God promises us freedom from worry.  Wouldn’t it be nice if we actually believed him?  What would happen if you took the concerns that grip you, that keep you awake at night, that clench your stomach in knots . . . and truly handed them over to his keeping? 

Like no other writer can do, best-selling author Chris Tiegreen opens your eyes and heart to a better, more weightless way to live.  Unburdened won’t teach you how to avoid responsibility or hide from serious issues.  Neither is it about how to escape and go live on a beach—though having a couple of palm trees around never hurts.

It’s about taking the burdens you currently carry and making them much, much lighter.

It’s about transferring the weight of your responsibilities from the weak shoulders of your flesh to the strong fingertips of God.

It’s about learning to live in deep-down, heart-level freedom.

And no one who reads Unburdened will walk away unchanged.

My Thoughts:

I feel the best way to review Tiegreen’s Unburdened is to provide several quotes from the book, which I will supply at the end of my review.  In this approach, you can sense just how well thought out and to the point Tiegreen’s book is.  Tiegreen divides his book seemingly into two sections; the first few chapters discuss our burdens, why we have them, and how we create them; the last few chapters discuss how to lay those burdens at the feet of Jesus and actually walk away from them [the burdens, NOT the responsibility].

Tiegreen reminds his readers of Jesus' teachings concerning worry and concern.  He points out quite often [to drive home his point] that we all "believe" Jesus’ teachings, yet we live as if they mean nothing to us or are meant for someone else.  Unburdened does not provide a hands-off attitude towards avoiding responsibility or the pat “everything will be alright” attitude.  Nor does it provide an out from serious issues we all face.  Tiegreen provides an easy, systematic approach to learning how to trust God with your burdens and letting Him carry them.  Just like His Word describes.

The key to an unburdened life is allowing the Spirit of God to not only give you strength but to BE your strength.  What can we do aside from Him?  It is a simple concept, really.  But very difficult for us to employ because we want to be in some sort of control of certain aspects of our lives.  Tiegreen does an excellent job of making us realize the need to release control and the effects it will have on our lives.

The unburdened life isn't so much about avoiding burdens as it is about carrying format them with the strength of Another.  The former leads to a life of purposelessness the latter builds an eternal Kingdom.  The first approach is a choice to be weak; the other is a choice to be supernaturally empowered.  This isn't a matter simply of living with abandonment, but of living with abandonment to God.  (12)

We may know him theoretically as Israel’s Deliverer, Provider, Healer, and Warrior, but we know him personally only if he performs those roles in our lives when we need him to.  (17)

God gives us an amazing offer:  we can trade all of our complications for his peace, all of our stresses for his strength, all of our neediness for his supply.  (59)

Whenever we feel the weight of our burdens, there’s some aspect of God’s character or some truth from his Word that we aren’t fully trusting.  (67)

We crave the ability to do all we have to do with freedom and rest rather than burdens and stress.  Ultimately, the only way to do that is to realize the power that works within us – and to rely on that Spirit of power to do his work.  (198)

I highly recommend this book to everyone, regardless of whether you have come to the point in your life where you truly rely on God for all your strength or not.  There are wonderful reminders of how awesome our Savior is.  We could all use a refresher in turning over the “stuff” to God.  Let go and let God!

I would like to thank Tyndale House Publishers for a complimentary copy of this book.  All opinions are my own and I was not required to write a positive review.

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