Monday, July 5, 2010

book review: "unburdened" by chris tiegreen

“I’ve often wondered what would happen if we followed their [Christian writers] counsel and simply let go of our concerns. Would the world fall apart? Would situations worsen because we aren’t stressed about them anymore? Would all of our dreams and desires fall into God’s trash pile if we were no longer pestering him about them? Why don’t we just “let go”? I don’t know. We would certainly lose a sense of control, but maybe that’s the point. Perhaps that’s our fundamental problem – our false sense of control. It’s an illusion, and it wreaks havoc on our sense of peace. But we desperately try to maintain it anyway. Why? Because we have a hard time trusting God.”

The above quote adequately sums up the message behind “Unburdened” by Chris Tiegreen. He attempts to tackle the issue of why we have such a hard time giving our “baggage” to God and being able to confidently leave it with Him. From the start, he admits that he’s the last person who should be writing a book about being worry-free and “at rest” with his life. “Apparently, God doesn’t think a discussion on “the unburdened life” is for people who are cruising. It’s for people who are weighed down and about to buckle.” Our lack of trust stems from our need for control. We have a hard time letting go and not trying to take it back. “Do you see the absurdity of our stress? We are very busy and anxious about the very things God has already said he’s taking care of. We are relentless in our pursuit of what he has already promised to deliver. We micromanage the concerns we’ve allegedly asked him to handle.”

I admit I’m one of those who pray about something and leave the issue with God but then try to go back and take it from Him. Somehow I’ve convinced myself I’ll do a better job of making it happen than God – an absolutely crazy notion I know but I’m not good at letting go. I like to plan and have things go the way I want them. God doesn’t have the same timetable as me and that fact is a little unnerving. But if I truly trust Him, I’ll be able to know His plans are infinitely better than mine. “Any stress about whether or not Jesus will take care of us is a stark rebuttal to his words. Somehow we got comfortable with being living contradictions: Christians who “believe” in the words of Jesus but worry anyway. That makes no sense.” So if we trust Him like we say we do, then we can leave it with Him. End of story.

To comply with new regulations introduced by the Federal Trade Commission, Tyndale House Publishers provided me with a complimentary copy of this book.