Do you struggle in relationships with parents, your spouse, your children or your co-workers? Do you often wonder, “What have they done for me lately?” when choosing how to respond to a person in your life? If that’s the case, Jessica Thompson has written the book Everyday Grace: Infusing All Your Relationships With the Love of Jesus to help you redefine the basis on which you’re operating in your relationships. As she says in the first paragraph of the book,
This question of “What have you done for me lately?” in a relationship is a sure lack of belief that God is faithful and will provide all that I need.
According to Thompson, we go from basing relationships on what other people have done for us to basing those same relationships on the idea that if we do things, then the other person will reciprocate, and the relationship will improve.
Nether of these ideas are Biblical, and Thompson spends the rest of the book showing us how Jesus and God have demonstrated that relationships work, such as the one between a parent and a child or between a husband and a wife, and then taking God’s role in these relationships and applying them broadly to the relationships that we humans have.
I found this book to be inspirational, and to be one that always led me back to Jesus. It’s a book that reminded to me be like him, and that there was no condemnation by him for the the fact that I can’t be like him. I found it exceptionally painful to read passages, such as the ones where God calls his people adulterers and still loves them anyway. I want to be so much better, and yet I’m not as I want to be faithful and trusting, but every day, I find myself scheming and planning on ways to take control myself and not rest in him.
In the end though, I found that there’s so much freedom in him that I need to take and extend others. Far too often I look to others for my identity instead of resting in my identity in him. That’s the prevailing message of Thompson’s book, and one that I think most readers will find joyful.
Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.