Doing Good Is Simple: Making a Difference Right Where You Are by Chris Marlow
DOING GOOD IS SIMPLE is a simple, yet powerful book. The author's life was radically transformed whilst on a visit to Zimbabwe: "A few minutes at a gas station and a single day with thirty orphans changed my life. It was as if God had pried me out of my comfortable Western Christian context, dropped me in the middle of hell, slapped me in the face, and shouted, “Wake up! I need you to care for these little ones because I do.”
The theme of DOING GOOD IS SIMPLE is that Christians can love others in simple ways, using your God-given talents: "Doing good is not as difficult as you assumed. It’s not as complicated as you thought or as taxing as you supposed . It won’t require moving to Africa or giving up all your modern comforts or burdening your already overwhelmed family. But it will require you to get creative , have a little fun, and shift some of your thinking."
Christians can easily be overwhelmed, as the author was, when facing horrific circumstances around the world. The author mentions 3 hurdles that might hinder us:
Hurdle #1: “The Issues Are Too Numerous”
Hurdle #2: “The Problems Are Too Big”
Hurdle #3: “The Solutions Are Too Complicated”
These hurdles can become real obstacles, but remember--no one is called to fix everything. "You can’t; that is not your problem or role. Take a moment, breathe, and allow that truth to bring peace to your weary soul."
The Bible calls all Christians to make a difference--not just the super powerful. God uses "ordinary people to do his extraordinary work...You can take small, powerful steps to move toward a life filled with compassion, a life in which God uses your gifts to bring hope to the hurting." Of all people, Christians should be givers: "If God is a giver, then his people should also be known as givers, yes? It seems difficult to say, “I follow Jesus” and not really mimic who Jesus was— a giver. "
Chris exhorts readers to be filled with "crazy compassion." Instead of emphasizing what you are against, change your focus, use your gifts to make a real difference to someone begging for compassion: "God gifted us so we can use those gifts to make the world whole. Your gifts were always meant to serve your neighbor well. They are not always flashy, but they all matter."
So, whatever your gift, wherever you live, decide to be "wildly significant." There are countless ways: "Whether it’s sponsoring a child, volunteering your Saturday, collecting spare change, or running a lemonade stand from your front yard. We struggle for progress. Together we build, trusting God is on the move."
The author suggests 6 ways to make a real, practical difference:
1. Do Something Rather than Nothing
2. Start Small
3. Follow Your Passions
4. Use Your Gifts
5. Build Relationships
6. Stick With It
DOING GOOD IS SIMPLE makes a strong statement, loud and clear. Live a "radical normal" life that doesn't make sense to many, except those who understand what they have been given. DOING GOOD IS SIMPLE encourages the reader to "live a life that reflects faith, hope, and love." After all, it's much simpler than you think.
Advance Review Copy courtesy of NetGalley.