Monday, October 15, 2012

Book Review: 40 Days to a Joy Filled Life

What a great title. Who wouldn’t want a joy-filled life?  And in 40 days?  Sign me up!

I’ve been carrying this book around with me to read in waiting rooms, car line, spare bits of time during the month of October.  The giant smiley face is an attention getter and I have had one conversation (at the veterinarian’s office) about this book and what it promises to do:  cause you to change your thinking and find more joy, even in the midst of difficulty.

This 40-day workbook is based on Tommy Newberry’s book The 4:8 Principle which draws inspiration from Philippians 4:8--”...whatever is true, whatever is noble....”  I actually wasn’t too crazy about the self-help tone of The 4:8 Principle, especially the somewhat New Age idea that if I put good thoughts out there, blessings will come.  That’s only mentioned once, but it soured me a bit on his message.  I also felt that Newberry didn’t do enough for people who cannot get away from negative people (coworkers, relatives).  Perhaps that’s another book?

However,  I loved the book 40 Days to a Joy-Filled Life.  The message is the same (there’s even that New Age bit), but the tone is slightly different.  It felt less “do this to get blessed” and more “don’t miss out on the joy of Christian life.”   I learned that I have much work to do on capturing each thought and focusing on praiseworthy things in the midst of a painfully difficult year.

40 Days gives you one thing to think about each day and leads you from where you are to a closer relationship to God.  It’s not a devotional--there’s no daily Scripture verse-- but it draws from Scripture, and encourages Scripture memorization as a way of transforming your mind.  Each day has a reflection, an application, a prayer, and a reminder to write on a post-it or email/text yourself so that you carry the thought throughout the day.

Though I read this through rather quickly in order to write a review, I liked it well enough that now I’m going to read it again as a 40-day exercise.  Who couldn’t use a little more joy in her life?

40 Days to a Joy-Filled Life by Tommy Newberry, Tyndale House, 2012.
The 4:8 Principle by Tommy Newberry, Tyndale House, 2007.

As part of the Tyndale Blog Network I received a complimentary copy of 40 Days as well as a copy of The 4:8 Principle in return for an honest review.

No comments: