The Easy Burden of Pleasing God (Review)

So, these days I don’t have much else to offer beyond a book review. Several are coming, as I’ve had a lot of reading to do and not so much personal writing time, so I hope that you’ll forgive me for my absence. One more month of this crazy semester and things will be a good bit more active on this site.Easy Burden of Pleasing God

I want to throw out an excellent book, The Easy Burden of Pleasing God by Patty Kirk (IVP, 2013). This is a classic waiting to be realized. This book, published this year by InterVarsity Press, is a much needed reminder of Christ’s words: “For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matt 11.30). In a day and age in which technology, job requirements, family life, social expectations, educational goals, career incentives, etc. rule our daily lives, we need a reminder that our Christian life is not meant to be another over-bearing factor. Many, unfortunately, adopt a mentality in which Christianity is another think to be checked off the list of things to do or that it is a lifestyle of legalism. For most people, this fails to resonate with living in what it means to live in “the real world” and the result is a never ending pursuit of perfect and a never ending result of shame and failure.

Kirk is personable in this book, bringing in her own experiences and trials as she came to realize the fact that Christianity is meant to bring freedom. Often enough, Kirk says, we pretend like Christianity is our thing to do, as if we either do it right or we do it wrong. We life the burdens, we bear the struggles, we enter into guilt and regret and shame. But that is man’s religion, not the way God envisions things. He seeks to free us from ourselves and in doing so, takes our burdens to the cross.

Kirk’s book is not a revelation; it is a reminder. Along with Ruth Haley Barton’s, The Sacred Rhythms, I think much can be devoured from this book. Read through it slowly. Meditate on her words which meditate on God’s. “For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”