The Good: I absolutely loved this prayer quoted in the book. It is by monk and writer Thomas Merton.
My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this, you will lead me by the right road, though I may know nothing about it. Therefore, will I trust you always, though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils along.
Oh – the rest of the book is good too.
The Bad: Had this book had been loaned to Donald Trump in early 2016, and had he applied it, this election would have been way more boring. More successful for Donald, certainly, but boring. I couldn’t read about the “red and blue zones” and not think that had he read and applied this book – for good or ill – Hillary would have been history. I suppose I was supposed to apply it to myself – my bad.
The Ugly: This little book reflects its teaching back on the reader. I find it much easier to read about how others are my problem. Wanting to be liked, I abhor conflict, have avoided it, and created more ugly as a result. Thriving Thru Ministry Conflict convicted me – it would have been much easier to stay ignorant. More painful, and less profitable for myself and my church, true, but easier.
This is one of my favorite books on church conflict, and easily the most helpful at getting me to deal with my part of the mess. I’ll be loaning it out and recommending it to others. Wonder of Donald reads book reviews?