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Generous Love Discover the Joy of Living "Others First" Review by Markie CooksBecky Kopitzke
Bethany House Publishers
Baker Publishing Group
6030 East Fulton Road
Ada, MI 49301
We live in a world now where people feel it is ok to be self-absorbed. You constantly hear things like "I need some me-time, what about me, or I would help, but I'm tired" Parents are even pushing kids to go into debt for degrees so that they can live their dream. Whatever happened to God's Plan? Or that Bible verse that talks about esteeming your neighbor higher than yourself? Bethany House Publishers' book, Generous Love Discover the Joy of Living "Others First", written by Becky Kopitzke, does a very good job explaining the importance of loving others first, putting you to the side, and how blessing others will bless you.
The book is 223 pages and has 16 chapters.
What is a Blessing, Anyway?
Why Are We So Stinking Selfish?
The "Me" Weeds
The Blessing Toolbox
Four P's of Blessing - #1 Presence
Blessings Near and Far
Four P's of Blessing - #2 Possessions
Four P's of Blessing - #3 Perspectives
Loving People Who Aren't Like You
Four P's of Blessing - #4 Prayer
A Church of Every Corner
Why? Because God Says So
And Because It Benefits You, Too
When Blessing Is Hard
About That Golden Rule
Epilogue: A Life Well-Lived
About the Author
I was immediately captured by this book, as it started with a story about a friend serving another friend, whose husband had recently passed away. What she thought she was doing to bless her friend actually blessed her. This book continues to share ways we can be a blessing to others. I'm not talking about just materialistic blessings either. There are many non-monetary ways you can bless other people. I loved when the author discussed this because gift-giving is my love language. It can get expensive though, and my husband has to give me the "no more spending" speech sometimes. So hearing ways that I can bless others and not have to spend money blessed me! She discusses many ways in the Four P's of Blessing, which are Presence, Possessions, Perspective, and Prayer. I loved the way she used scripture to back up the points she made. This allows readers to know that although the author may be experienced in these areas, this is God's Word and what he expects from us. Before reading this book I thought I did a decent job at putting others before myself, after all, I am a wife and homeschool mom to four children, so I kind of do that on a daily. However, after reading this book I have learned that there is so much more I can be doing. Instead of rushing to get my coffee or hot cocoa and ignoring the homeless guy that was at the corner, maybe I can grab him a cup, too. What about slowing life down a bit for my kids and stop expecting them to jump on my fast moving merry-go-round, or playing the never-ending game of Monopoly with my son the next time he ask, even though I despise that game. I was convicted when I read that we are not truly giving from our heart when we complain or grumble about doing something. WHAT! I almost put the book down then. I mean as long as I do it that should be good enough, right? Apparently not! Yes, there is scripture for that too. So I am prepared to play that game with a cheerful heart now! Something that stood out to me is that several times throughout the book she brings the perspective back to the home. How are you treating your spouse and children? How can you truly be a blessing to others if you are not being a blessing to the family God gave you? This is something you don't see a lot of today, but our family strongly believes that everything starts at home, even your first friendships, so I appreciate the fact that she mentions this often throughout the book.
I suggested that before you sit down to start reading this book you get your Bible, a highlighter, pen, and notebook. There's a Let's Dig Deeper part at the end of each chapter. This is a series of questions that will help you reflect on what you read and how you can apply what applies to you.
This book can be purchased from Bethany House in either paperback or eBook format for $14.99
I assume you would be able to finish this book in about six hours depending on how fast of a reader you are. I did not read it in one sitting. I read it over the course of a few weeks when time allowed. I plan to go back and read it so that I can take more notes and answer the Let's Dig Deeper questions. The questions were very thought-provoking and it would have taken me longer to get through the book if I answered all of them. I think this would be fun to read with a group of people so that you can help hold each other accountable for the changes and actions you want to implement in your life. I am actually considering reading through it with my oldest daughter. One of the things I plan to implement right away, that I got from this book is, I am going to start having my children write letters to their grandparents at least once a month and send nice pictures, cards, etc.
Like with any other book you read there may be things you find don't apply to you or what you believe. There was mention of sayings from Pastors that I don't agree with due to their lifestyle; however that did not outweigh the positive message in the book. Overall, I really enjoyed this book and can't wait to reread it. I would definitely recommend it to others. Rather you think you already put others before you or you know your selfishness is off the charts this book will bless you!
-Product review by Markie Cooks, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, December, 2018