Leonard Sweet's book, What Matters Most, will cause Christ-followers to reevaluate their relationships and make a choice between pursuing something that is real, or continuing a life of artificial superficiality. His initial charge is based on the premise that we have made rules more important than relationship. This isn't just true within the confines of the church, but overflows into our relationships with family, friends, co-workers, and the rest of the world. To fulfill our mission of reaching the world, we must get back to our roots of developing an intimate, personal relationship with Christ.
Sweet challenges my thinking in many areas and doesn't hesitate to step on my toes. He creates tension by pointing out the desire of God for in-depth, authentic intimacy in the way that we live out our faith. It is from this initial misconception (and malpractice) that the rest of our relationships suffer and then we wonder why there is no genuine connection or attraction for our Christian lifestyle.
This book challenges our faith and then examines our relationship with the full spectrum of divinity: God, God's story, other people of faith, those outside the faith & those who are different, God's creation, symbols, art & things, and the spiritual world. He leaves no relationship outside of his challenge to look at them all through the lens of closeness with our Creator. He correctly postulates that all aspects of life will be altered for the better if we commit to making them part of our daily intimacy with God.
Sweet is a deep thinker and expressive writer. His sense of humor (with an occasional hint of sarcasm) illustrates his points well and even made me say, "Ouch" and "Wow" in several passages. He has obviously been challenged to change his approach to his own relationships and his book reveals his conviction that this is necessary for all of us.
I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.