Normal people are stressed, overwhelmed, and exhausted. Many of their relationships are, at best, strained and, in most cases, just surviving. Even though we live in one of the most prosperous places on earth, normal is still living paycheck to paycheck and never getting ahead. In our love-starved world, lust, guilt, and shame are far more common than purity and a healthy married life. And when it comes to God, the majority believe in him, but the teachings of scripture rarely make it into their everyday lives. Simply put, normal isn’t working. Groeschel’s Weird views will help you break free from the norm to lead a radically abnormal (and endlessly more fulfilling) life.
If you pick up this book, hang onto your hat, because it’s quite a ride. Craig Groeschel does not mince his words when he says that a “normal” life is a lousy one to live. You may look at your own life objectively and believe that you live a pretty abnormal life, however this book still showed up areas in my life where I lacked a certain “weirdness”. It’s so easy to be normal; so easy to “fake it till you make it” – live your life on the outside like it’s a dream with it’s normal little hiccups, when on the inside it’s really dying and you are asking yourself, “What is wrong with me?” Well, normal just isn’t working.
In this book, Pastor Groeschel hits five key parts of every day life head on. Time, money, and relationships being just the tip of the iceberg; each chapter hits all the ouch points like a hammer blow (Especially in the Time chapter for me). To summarize quite simply, living a Godly life is not one that is meant to blend in. In every single area of our lives from people to possessions, we should be radically… well, weird. It should be noticeable. Obvious, even. It’s this kind of epic God-weirdness that makes people ask, “What is it you’ve got that I haven’t?” Because as much as everyone strives to feel normal, behind the façade they wonder why everything feels fake. With stark practicality, Craig Groeschel gives you blinding insight into how you can avoid the normal in all areas of your life and take being weird to a whole new level. Awesomely enough, this book is not just directed at a single age group. Craig has masterfully constructed this helpful guide with chapters that pertain to both the youth and the adults, the married and unmarried of the world, so that any and everyone can gain useful insight from it to apply to their lives.
All the way through the book, even though Groeschel is constantly stating the rights and wrongs of things, you don’t feel preached at. The author has lived everything he has learned, and has learned much of it the hard way. Craig’s imperfections are apparent in his writing, and he doesn’t hide the fact he has failed as often as the next person. The questions he asked himself as a young adult reveal what so many people are asking themselves today:
For years I’d asked the questions normal people ask: Why won’t the head cheerleader go out with me? What class should I take? Should I change my major? Am I popular enough? Good enough? Successful enough? Can I get a good-enough education to land a good job and afford a good house and marry a good woman and have good kids, all so I can… what? Be normal?
With a sometimes snarky, upbeat and genuine flavour of writing, Craig makes this book so easy to read. Even though he’s weird, he’s still human. Yet however much I love his practical advice and candidacy in most of the book, his blunt approach to the more adult topics in the “Sex” chapters I found a bit disturbing in places. Be forewarned, when I said he doesn’t mince his words, he doesn’t mince his words. His bluntness in covering issues in this area of life is almost cringeworthy in places – to the degree I had a bit of trouble picking the book back up again after I finished that section – and for this reason I would not recommend this book to anyone younger at 18, at the very least. Though this part contains a lot of sound Scriptural advice, I do believe it could have been put across with a little more discretion, which is my only blight on the otherwise brilliant read.
In closing, I do highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to live a deeper, richer and more meaningful life, simply in the “normalcy” of everyday living. You will walk away inspired and uplifted, challenged and renewed. You will want to be weird; you will desire to carry God’s presence like a beacon, not hiding it under the veil of a normal life. In the words of Craig himself:
If you let Him, if you choose not to coast along the world’s wide-open road but rather to blaze a narrow trail with Jesus as your guide, then you’ll never settle for normal again. You’ll want only one thing. The God kind of weird.
Published on 30 September, 2012. Last updated on