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Saturday, September 1, 2018

Book Review: Caring for One Another by Edward T. Welch

BOOK review
Started on: 24 July 2018
Finished on: 31 July 2018

Title: Caring for One Another: 8 Ways to Cultivate Meaningful Relationships
Author: Edward T. Welch
Publisher: Crossway
Pages: 80 pages / 80 pages (e-book)
Year of Publication: 2018
Price: Rp

Rating: 4/5
*This e-book was received as a review copy from Crossway
"Our helpfulness—our care for souls—starts with our need for care. We need God, and we need other people. Maturity through dependence is our goal. As a way to put this humility to the test, we ask for prayer. This will contribute to a church culture that is less self-protective and more united."
Edward T. Welch is an experienced biblical counselor who has counseled many people in the past thirty years. In this book, he encourages readers to see and know that anyone who believes in God is equipped to care for others, even those who feel weak and needy themselves. There are 8 short lessons in this book with discussion questions that can be read together with others. Each chapter will help readers to create a caring and nurturing community where people can be open, vulnerable, and bear one another's burdens. Discussion questions and practical guidance will help readers have a community that cares for each other in times of trouble. 🤗

"There is openness, freedom, friendship, bearing burdens together, and giving and receiving wisdom. No trite responses. And Jesus is throughout it all. We want more of this."

This book captured my attention when I was choosing my next book for Crossway Blog Review Program, especially because of the subtitle that says 'Ways to Cultivate Meaningful Relationships'. As I grow older, I realized that the relationships that we have with other people are one of the most important and valuable things in our lives. I have to admit that I wasn't very good at maintaining or nurturing my relationships with people. Even though I have certainly gotten better in the past few years, I know I still have a long way to go and a lot more to learn. And since this is such a compact book that offers 8 ways to cultivate meaningful relationships, I thought I'd give it a try 😊. I definitely did not regret my choice because this book gives short yet practical insights on relationships.

In this book there are 8 chapters, and each one contains different lessons related with building relationships. The lessons are: With All Humility, Move Toward Others, Know the Heart, Know the Critical Influences, Be Personal and Pray, Talk about Suffering, Talk about Sin, and Remember and Reflect. Each chapter ended with a Discussion and Response section which asks several questions for the readers to ponder on related to the lesson concerned.
"In response, we listen. This means we are undistracted, engaged, and affected by what they say. We share, in some small way, the delights of the good things and the burdens of the hard things. The script for eliciting these important matters can get fuzzy, and there will be more on that next, but we know this: there is always more to know."
For me personally, the first chapter that really challenged me was the lesson called Move Toward Others. It talks about taking the initiative to approach others and be genuinely interested towards them. I used to have so much difficulty with this because I am such a socially awkward human being 😂; but I am gradually getting better as I forced myself to get out of my comfort zone and learn how to approach new people. A passage in this book said: 'Because of Jesus, you no longer look for the easiest person to talk to when people gather. Instead, you move toward the quieter ones, the new person, and the outliers. Imagine a group of people who move toward each other—active more than passive, loving more than fearing rejection.' That part really hit home for me; because I do have the tendency to look for people who I'm already comfortable with instead of the opposite. The discussion questions are really good and it made me reflect upon my own personal experiences and also think about why am I reluctant to move toward other people.

The second one that I want to talk about is the chapter titled Know the Heart. There is a part in this chapter that encourage us to practice seeing the good—not just good circumstances but moral goodness. It means noticing when a person is patient when treated badly, kind when treated unkindly, forgiving, gentle, and many more. Sometimes it is a lot easier to point out other people's wrong actions rather than remembering the good ones. This chapter definitely has a lot of practical questions to start knowing the other person better and know their heart—and it starts with recognizing the good in them.
"The circumstances of life do not have the power to turn us away from Jesus or to make us love him more—those are the jurisdiction of the heart. But they can make life easier or more miserable, and they can be difficult tests that reveal surprising things about what was once quiet in our hearts."
"We do not deny the hardships of life. Rather, we want to speak them to the God who hears, remember his promises and faithful love, and grow in trusting him."
The lessons included in this book are very simple and practical, yet at the same time also very challenging. I especially loved the discussion questions because they really make me reflect and think about my actions and how I can to improve them in the future. I'm thankful that Edward T. Welch took the time to write this book because as I've said earlier, relationships—especially healthy ones—are really important and is an essential part of our lives. Caring for others will also let us reflect the love that we have received from God to them.💖
"Though we might think that real help comes through dramatic and new insights, most help tends to come in more ordinary ways. It comes through our personal engagement with each other, our attention to Christ, and prayer."
"Hardships will come. Jesus has gone before us in hardships and knows us. The love of the Father pursues us in our hardships. The Father’s justice, which will silence all perpetrators and restore his people, is assured."
by.stefaniesugia♥ .

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