Book Review: Eyes Wide Open

Title: Eyes Wide Open: See and Live the Real You

Author: Jud Wilhite

Publisher SynopsisI had it all backwards. The main thing was not my love for God, but his love for me. And from that love I respond to God as one deeply flawed, yet loved. I’m not looking to prove my worth. I’m not searching for acceptance. I’m living out of the worth God already declares I have. I’m embracing his view of me and in the process discovering the person he created me to be.

In Eyes Wide Open, Jud Wilhite invites you to discover the real you. Not the you who pretends to be perfect to satisfy everyone’s expectations. Not the you who always feels guilty before God. Not the you who secretly feels God forgives everyone else but only tolerates you. Not the you who looks in the mirror and sees a failure. The real you, loved and forgiven by God, living out of your identity in Christ.

A travel guide through real spirituality from one incomplete person to another, Eyes Wide Open is a book of stories about following God in the messes of life, about broken pasts and our lifelong need for grace. It is a book about seeing ourselves and God with new eyes–eyes wide open to a God of love.

The timing of this book was amazing.  I received it three or more weeks ago but I didn’t start reading it until Sunday.  What is so ironic about the timing is that last week I posted my goals for this week.  We’re having week at a time challenges on Hearth Keepers right now and this week’s is a personal challenge.  I posted, “Trying to wake up each day as if I’m Ella in a new life and live each day as though there is no “routine”, no rut, no past failures to torment me, no expectations of too much or too little from me… just me being ME.  The me that is inside and constantly fighting to get out.” The real me– it’s like God said, ask and… you know how the rest of that goes.

To be honest, after the deep, thought provoking information from The Disappearance of God, I wasn’t sure what to expect from this book.  So often these things end up nothing more than feel-good drivel that does little more than keep you in your current pit of sin.  So, here I am reading this book and I’m convicted.  The truths Mr. Wilhite presents are simple but powerful.  For example:

  • God loves us.  Period.  Not if we love Him back, not if we’re ‘good enough’ or if we’ve followed the proper theological footwork… He loves us.  Period.
  • God isn’t the Cosmic Accountant.
  • God is on our team.
  • You are a saint.  Period.
  • You are a priest.

And finally… love the unloveable.

But, I have to admit, in the midst of my current focus, one concept really stood out more than any other.  The idea that God created me to be me.  I’m not supposed to be like every other Christian around me.  Yes, I am to be conformed to Christ, but that doesn’t mean I look exactly like every other person conformed to Christ.  I am fearfully and wonderfully made.  I was created for a purpose– and no one else can fill that purpose but me.  My uniqueness is a gift of the Lord.  What He wants me to do with that uniqueness is His gift to me.  I need to embrace it.  I don’t have to look like Susie Spiritual or Ronald Righteous.  I have to look like the Chautona Jesus wants to see on the day of judgment.  The Chautona that I want Jesus to see and say, “Well done good and faithful servant.”  I really don’t want to hear “Good job cookie cutter Christian Chautona.  I love you regardless.”  (and no, I don’t think Jesus would say that!)

I’m not giving up this book anytime soon.  I’ll share it with friends and family for a while and I might keep it on my shelf for a few years to make sure I’ve absorbed what I need to put into practice.  Then I’ll find the next Christian that needs a gentle reminder that God made them to be them… not me, not the latest Christian fad, not the “perfect Christian” down the street.  Just them.  Exactly how God made them.

He loves you.

He loves you.

He loves you.

He loves you.


2 thoughts on “Book Review: Eyes Wide Open

  1. There you go again. Adding to my ‘must read this’ list. Now would you kindly arrange for a week free of all responsibility so I can hide away with all these books. 🙂

  2. I’ll need to up my book budget if you keep finding good books to review. I need that free week to read them all too. *laugh*

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