A Bible Study to Help You Become The-Best-Version-of-Yourself
Allen R. Hunt
Beacon Publishing for
My introduction to Allen Hunts writing was his piece in the collection Beautiful Mercy edited by Matthew Kelly. His contribution was called Clothes the Naked from the corporal works of mercy. It was so challenging I took a look at all the books Allen Hunt had written and picked two to read, this being the first. First I must state this was an easy book to read, but by no way is it an easy book to live. In fact it was so challenging I started reading it three times before I finished. This book takes the nine words from Saint Paul's letter to the Galatians and expands upon them, and turns them into a blueprint for becoming the best version of yourself. That theme of being the best version of yourself runs through Matthew Kelly's writings and many of the books published by Dynamic Catholic. In fact they have been the central theme of much of what I have read and listened to over this past year.
But back specifically to this book by Allen Hunt. The chapters in this book are:
Your Destiny In Nine Words
Why Christians Are Different
The Most Excellent Way
Your Most Attractive Quality
How You Know You Are Mature
Easy To Be Hard
The Happiest People I Know
A Word With Great Ancestors
Your Secret Weapon
Your Best Friend
Study Questions For Groups
And the nine words from Paul's letter to the Galatians that this book encapsulates are:
In the prologue Hunt writes about these nine words and declares: "That's it. Nine words. A portrait of your destiny, the dream God has for your life. Some call it holiness. Others call it being conformed to the image of Christ. Saint Paul calls it the fruit of the Spirit. You might just call it the-best-version-of-yourself.
Whatever you call your destiny, these nine words provide the blueprint. And I have designed this simple study to help you dive into God's dream and grow into the-best-version-of-yourself."
This book is tough because in the introduction we are asked to rate ourselves on those nine words. We are to give ourselves a score from 1 to 10. Now to be honest when I first started reading this book I scored myself a 54 out of a possible 90. And that was 9 months ago. As I mentioned I stopped and had to start over again three times to make it through this book. Each chapters has exercises at the end to help you grow your score for that fruit. And to be honest Hunt sets a modest goal in the introduction he says: "Your goal is to grow nine points. And as you have fun doing so, you will find greater satisfaction in living because you will be moving toward the target: the-best-version-of-yourself." And I will be really honest the one I needed and still need a lot of work on is Joy! But by using this book and the tools provided I have seen changes and those around me have also.
Each chapter in this book ends with 5 exercises the short version(Just the titles for the chapter on Joy are:
1. Find a joy mentor.
2. Pick your friends and settings.
3. Endow your children with joy.
4. Make a thanksgiving list.
5. Get a Mass journal and use it.
And one of the longer versions is: "1. Find a joy mentor. There is no better way to grow in joy than to be around people who have it. Select a person in your life who has an abundant amount of joy. Spend time with him or her on a regular basis. This time helps to offset the effect that the negative people in your life may have on you. Let this joyful person teach you habits and routines from his or her own life that lead to increased joy. Notice where joyful people spend their time and what kinds of things they do, and identify the sources of their joy. Learn to imitate those habits and routines."
This was an incredible read. But you need to be very honest with yourself and God in your self-evaluation. If you are this book can be a great tool to help you live to a fuller extent the fruit of the spirit. It is an excellent study and I know I will be reading it again.
Books By Allen Hunt:
Confessions of a Mega Church Pastor
Life's Greatest Lesson
Everybody Needs To Forgive Somebody
The Inspired Body: Paul, the Corinthians, and Divine Inspiration
Fruit-Full Living: A Guide for Life in God's Spirit
The One Thing to Know Before You Die
21 Undeniable Secrets of Marriage
(Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: A Year of Reading Intention - Catholic Reading!)