When You, Then God {A Tyndale House Review}

When you, then God

I think sometimes we get confused in our relationship with God with what God might expect of us.  Should we keep all the “thou shalts” in the Bible or should we just say “never mind” and not try to keep it all, hoping that God will overlook it in his grace?  This is the question that Rusty George addresses in his book When You, Then God: 7 Things God Is Waiting to Do In Your Life.

In this book, George attempts to strike a balance between the legalism that he feels is often the image of Christianity and tendency of others to simply cling to the grace of God without ever changing our lives or attempting to conform to God’s commands.  He also discusses the feeling that many have God doesn’t love them and how that keeps them from loving God before attempting to find areas where we can “partner” with God in our lives.

These areas are:

  1.  When you trust God’s love, then God will invite you to partner with him.
  2. When you walk with Jesus, then God will help you look like Jesus
  3. When you relax, then God will guide you
  4. When you notice God, then God will reveal his presence
  5. When you invest in God’s kingdom, then God will invest in yours
  6. When you show kindness to others, then God will show them grace
  7. When you place your hope in God, then God will give you hope

There’s also a study guide in the back with reflection questions, just in case you want to make his book into a four week study.

This is a good book in many ways.  Much of the advice contained within is Biblical, and none of it is bad advice, although the book suffers from a continual leaning on the New Living Translation as a primary source for scripture.

Some chapters are scripturally sound, but others, such as “when you show kindness to others, then God will show them grace” seem to be based on a devotional understanding of just a few verses to create an underlying principle.  It’s psychologically sound, and it sounds nice, but I’m not sure there’s a firm Biblical foundation.  However, I do appreciate the ideas and anecdotes contained within the more devotional seeming chapters and found them to be inspirational.

I’m also not crazy about the terminology of “partnering” with God or the idea that these are things that we can do for/with God.  As someone who likes to make lists and check off lists, this is something that is a little bit tempting to my works-based side.  I also worry that it could be  something that could create a struggle in someone’s faith.  After all, this sounds works based, and even though the author attempts to explain that it isn’t, it still feels that way to me after reading the book.

Disclaimer:  I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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