The Beautiful Fight is Gary Thomas’ new book. It is a powerful work about spiritual transformation. A few years ago I read his book A Sacred Marriage. I was very impressed. Since then, I have read many other books written by Gary Thomas. I am not sure what it is that draws me to his work. I just know that what he says speaks to my life and I come away encouraged.
First, a great quote about the meaning of the transformed life:
Intentional spirituality — the living, reigning, and ascended Jesus living through us and transforming us into different people — does not exist to uphold a few rules but rather speaks of a process that creates an entirely new person who sees with new eyes, feels with a new heart, hears with renewed ears, and lives with a new passion. It is, I believe, the only life worth living. (p. 19)
I really like this paragraph on the compelling life:
What defines a compelling life? Someone who is available to God and regularly experiences God’s fellowship, presence, and empowerment. There are no substitutes, no shortcuts. We are not compelling; on the contrary, we are sinful, often poor imitations of our Lord. But when God lives through us, shines through us, and overcomes our worst inclinations with his merciful transformation — that’s compelling. People become interested not so much in us but in what’s so different about us. (p. 27)
Finally, here are some wonderful comments about seeing life through the eyes of God:
As our plane ascended out of San Antonio, it passed an enclave of mansions. These homes had to contain at least seven to ten thousand square feet of space, with immaculate lawns and gardens, large pools, and huge garages. But from two thousand feet in the air, it’s amazing how small these homes looked. Another few thousand feet, and they become mere playhouses.
And then it hit me: not a home on this planet looks big to heaven; no house looks huge to God. The things that swell our chests with pride look mighty puny from another perspective.
We can’t impress God.
And so I prayed, "Lord, help me to see this world with your eyes. Otherwise I might value what you despise and despise what you value." (p. 59)