Firsthand by Ryan & Josh Shook
I was blessed in that I spent virtually all my life growing up in church. Sunday morning, sunday night, church camp, youth group–you name it, I was there! And while this was a huge blessing for me, it also is super easy to fall into a rut when you’re spoon fed “the right answers” your whole life. It’s easy to see church as a chore and Christianity as one big long list of what you can do and what you can’t do. So when I heard about Ryan & Josh Shook and their book Firsthand: Ditching Secondhand Religion for a Faith of Your Own I was eager to read it because I was sure I’d be able to relate!
I definitely was and so many different parts of the book really resonated with me! They do a great job of helping break the mentality ruts it’s so easy to get into with “second hand religion” and challenge you to think for yourself, dig in to what you believe, and start living an exciting, inspirational faith based on personal faith, knowledge, and experiences.
A big portion of the book deal with being willing to admit that we’re messed up. In order to really live a first hand faith we have to quit pretending that we have it all together–because none of us do! I love this quote from page 72:
“Real change starts when we stop worrying about how spiritual we appear on the outside and start surrendering our messy lives to the God who wants to change us from the inside.”
One thing that they stress is letting time with God go from being a chore that you feel guilty for not checking off each day-to a new habit that you love and enjoy. A big part of this is just being still with God–something that’s often talked about but bears repeating because it’s something I think we as 2013 Christians have a horrible time actually doing.
They also encourage active faith–faith that changes and moves and makes a different-because that’s what faith should really be all about!
A shorter book–only 190 pages–it’s full of great thoughts, reminders, and challenges! I was inspired and refreshed reading it and recommend it for anyone who’s grown up in church and struggled with being excited about their faith or even considered walking away from it at one point or another in their lives!
Don’t just take my word for it–be sure to go read the other Amazon reviews of Firsthand by Ryan & Josh Shook-so far it has close to 5 stars!