Your Blueprint For Life: How To Align Your Passion, Gifts, And Calling With Eternity In Mind, by Michael Kendrick
[Note: This book was provided free of charge by BookLook/Thomas Nelson in exchange for an honest review.]
Whether a reader enjoys this book or not will depend in large part on what the reader is looking for. A reader who appreciates books that talk about living with intention that are strong on business strategy, focused on pragmatic goals, well-versed in positive psychology, and with a fair amount of biblical citations (including one at the end of every chapter) along with a strong dose of heaven-centered comfort and a belief in blessing that approaches but does not quite reach the prosperity gospel will enjoy this book. It speaks highly of the secular duties of business people so long as they are generous to God with their money, and spends a great deal of time talking about five supposed domains: spiritual, relational, physical, financial, and career. It is telling, although perhaps unintentional, that the relational focus does not include either physical or spiritual brethren as a separate circle of concern, perhaps lumping them in with friends. Those inclined to appreciate positive viewpoints of business thinking with a dollop of traditional Christianity will find much to enjoy.
In terms of its organization, this book is a straightforward one. The first chapter looks at the need to have a blueprint for life that combines one’s passions, one’s gifts, and one’s calling from God. This leads into a discussion of the purpose for life and unique calling, as the author makes a strong stand for individual purposes for mankind based on a few scriptures. After this the book looks at ways for someone to prepare for their destiny through self-examination and prayer. Then comes a chapter with a focus on heaven, to remind readers about the need to have a Godward focus. After this comes a chapter about building faith, with the idea that pursuing goals for which one has a passion, assuming that passion is not out of balance, or against God’s ways, is a good way to have the resilience to see it through. After this comes an introduction to the five factors of life and some practical insights on how to achieve success in the spiritual, relational, physical, financial, and career goals. The latter two could easily have been combined into one, as many career goals are largely intertwined with financial ones, whether in a career focus or as an avocational passion that provides the opportunity for some income. The book closes with a backwards looking conclusion that summarizes the main points of the book and provides an altar call for those readers who are not yet openly avowed Christians.
In reading this book, I saw it as one that will likely be a modest pleasure to those who see it for what it is, a book on personal strategy with a strong business focus that happens to be aimed at a Christian audience with a clear goal of legitimizing business success in the eyes of Christians . It is likely to be a book that does not convince people who are not inclined to believe either in a special individual will for each believer (rather than one extremely complicated will involving all humanity) nor that is likely to convince those who are skeptical of the use of a business consultant’s worldview with an overlay of Christian language and biblical citations as opposed to a book written from a Christian worldview that just happens to be about business and personal strategy. This book reads a lot like John Maxwell’s works, and those who appreciate Maxwell’s approach will find much to enjoy here, as this is competently done with pragmatic advice that, if familiar, is no less true for it.
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