I have only had a chance to read it once, but I am going to be reading it again. It is one of those books that is a very easy read, but you need to read it a couple of times because it is something that needs to sink down deep!
The book shows you the difference between how Saul, David and Absalom ruled as kings. As you read it you get an understanding of how different kinds of leaders lead, and your natural tendency is to think of someone else and how they fit into the picture. As I read it I fought the urge to want to say, “Yeah, that is so much like ________”. But the author reminds you that you should look at yourself and how you lead.
What? You mean that I am supposed to gauge how I lead and not use it as a sword to slash down leaders who have hurt me? That is crazy! Of course, I am being silly, but that is commonly all of our reactions. We would use a book to justify our feeling or the way we reacted towards a bad leader.
As I read the book I could see areas in my life where I was a total Saul or Absalom. But I have to honestly say that I think that I handled my departure from my previous church much the way that David handled things with Saul and Absalom. A lot of that I owe to God putting people into my life that showed me the right way to lead. And one of the biggest ones I have to thank is the youth pastor I had as a student, who mentored me and is now one of my good friends. I am so grateful for him.
This book is a book that every pastor should read and then have every leader in their church read. And not just once but on a regular basis. It is something that we all need constant reminding of and also need to check ourselves to make sure we are leading with the right heart.
The books subtitle is “A Study in Brokenness” and that is exactly what it is. David was a broken man whose life was submitted to God and committed to God. One of the glaring differences between David, Saul and Absalom, is the David was a God pleaser and Saul and Absalom were men pleasers. David was more concerned with God’s opinion of him than what his next door neighbor or best man thought. Reputation is a big thing, but when it all comes down to it, I would rather have a reputation as someone who was sold out for God than have a reputation that people thought I was a cool guy. And as a church, I would rather have my church known as one that went after the lost with everything we had and did what we could to see them come into a relationship with God, than one that pleased the religious people.
That may not be the best book review or even the easiest to read, but it is what I got from it after my first read. I may review it more than once here.