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Shrewd: Daring to Live the Startling Command of Jesus

Shrewd: Daring to Live the Startling Command of Jesus

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by Rick Lawrence
     
 

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It doesn’t seem to make sense: Jesus tells his disciples to take a lesson from Satan himself.
 
A scandalous idea? Yes. Essential to the Christian life? Definitely.
 
Drawing on Jesus’s parable of the shrewd manager in Luke 16, Rick Lawrence explores Jesus’s shocking mandate to be as shrewd as Satan and as innocent as the

Overview

It doesn’t seem to make sense: Jesus tells his disciples to take a lesson from Satan himself.
 
A scandalous idea? Yes. Essential to the Christian life? Definitely.
 
Drawing on Jesus’s parable of the shrewd manager in Luke 16, Rick Lawrence explores Jesus’s shocking mandate to be as shrewd as Satan and as innocent as the Holy Spirit. In fact, Jesus implies, if we are going to be any good for the Kingdom of God, we’ve got to be a lot shrewder than we are now.
 
Shrewd shows us how Jesus was naturally shrewd in every encounter he had, using leverage such as laughter, generosity, and bluntness to influence a situation for good.
 
God calls us to be shrewd without evil intent, just as Jesus was. Because the truth is that we have no salvation outside of the holy shrewdness of a loving God. And that’s a scandalous story worth telling.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781434700735
Publisher:
David C Cook
Publication date:
08/01/2012
Edition description:
New
Pages:
272
Product dimensions:
8.10(w) x 5.40(h) x 0.60(d)

Read an Excerpt

Shrewd

Daring to Live the Starting Command of Jesus


By RICK LAWRENCE

David C. Cook

Copyright © 2012 Rick Lawrence
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-7814-0875-2



CHAPTER 1

Shrewd as Serpents, Innocent as Doves

All machines that use mechanical parts are built with the same single aim: to ensure that exactly the right amount of force produces just the right amount of movement precisely where it is needed. —David Macaulay, in his introduction to The Way Things Work

He who works with his hands and his head and his heart is an artist. —St. Francis of Assisi

If there is one terrible disease in the Church of Christ, it is that we do not see God as great as He is. We're too familiar with God. —A. W. Tozer, "Worship: The Missing Jewel"


Not long ago I was at a large fund-raiser dinner for a ministry my family has supported for years. I brought my video camera along to record interviews, asking a roomful of longtime Christians to give me their definition of shrewd. These are the exact words and phrases they used in their definitions:

• Conniving

• Sneaky

• Sly

• Underground

• Clever with a touch of calculation

• Mean

• Coarse, rude, and unbecoming

• Crafty and good at getting what they want

• Good at getting money and not very happy—not very fun


And perhaps my favorite response, because it's so snarky ...

• A German warship from the 1800s


Ah, the Good Ship Shrewd—it's almost impossible for us to keep from infecting the word with negativity. We'd never praise a friend, for example, by saying: "I really admire you—you're the most conniving person I know!" And you won't find a single greeting card that reads: "Thanks for the way you've been cunning in my life." It's hard to separate shrewd from its negative connotations, but in truth, it's a neutral force that can be used for good or for evil. And even though Dr. Sharp describes shrewd at work in an epic moment in history, its more natural and much broader application is in our everyday encounters, opportunities, and challenges. All of us intrinsically understand the basics of leverage in our relationships—when I give my kids a consequence for disrespectful behavior, they often stop behaving disrespectfully—but most of us have done little to harness that leverage in service to the kingdom of God. We are shrewd accidentally, and often not innocently. That's why so many of our deepest hopes and dreams suffer shipwreck—we've paid little or no attention to the clear imperative Jesus delivered to His disciples: "Be shrewd as serpents but innocent as doves."


Shrewdness Hiding in Plain Sight

People all around us are studying how things work, all the time, then using leverage to gain a favored outcome. Pry the lid off any vocation, and you'll find shrewd people acting shrewdly. Not long ago a principal in a San Francisco school conducted an experiment. He told three of his teachers that, because they'd been recognized as three of the district's best instructors, they'd been assigned ninety high-IQ students with a charge to see how far they could take them academically. By year's end, these students had achieved about 25 percent more than their peers. The principal then came clean: he'd given the teachers "average" students chosen at random. Furthermore, he'd chosen the three teachers by drawing their names from a hat. By studying how things work in his school—paying attention to what motivates both students and teachers—the principal produced an astonishing surge in academic progress, leveraging both kids and adults toward his goal of a higher-achieving school.

Even though we're mostly oblivious to it, acts of shrewdness are lurking behind every big moment in our history, no matter where we plant our finger on the time line. A random case in point: after landing on the moon in 1969, the astronauts of Apollo 11 were hurtling back toward earth when a potentially catastrophic failure threatened their safe return. A failed bearing in the turret of a powerful antenna at the NASA tracking station in Guam had knocked the antenna out of service—it was the last line of communication with Apollo 11 before splashdown. The whole world waited on the edge of its seat as the crisis deepened. Meanwhile, fourth-grader Greg Force sat at home with his mom and three brothers while his dad, Guam tracking-station director Charles Force, monitored communications with the spacecraft as it headed toward reentry. Charles knew there was no time to replace the bearing before the capsule entered earth's atmosphere, so he did some quick (and shrewd) thinking. If he could pack a little more grease around the failed bearing, the antenna might work long enough to get Apollo 11 safely home. But the access hole was just two-and-a-half inches in diameter, and nobody at the station had an arm small enough to reach the bearing. So Charles had someone race to his home and pick up Greg, whose skinny little arm reached through the tiny hole and packed grease around the failed bearing. It worked, and Apollo 11 splashed down safely. Mr. Force found a way to use the right force in the right place at the right time.

These are standout examples of shrewdness in play, to be sure, but maybe the biggest surprise is how often the people who are closest to us—and even our own surprising selves—speak and act shrewdly. Aik Hong Tan says: "[Shrewd is] just like parenting kids—you can say 'It's my way or the highway,' but that's being a tyrant. Instead, you study to understand their leanings or tendencies—all kids are different. And when you understand their natural leanings you'll know how to apply the right style of teaching." So we study how things work, come to grips with our "favored outcome," then apply the right force in the right place at the right time to move the situation in that direction. This is no rhetorical exercise, by the way—this kind of progressive thinking can make a huge difference in almost all our everyday relational challenges. A case in point: the thirty-minute conversation I had with my wife today.

To satisfy our daily craving for uninterrupted conversation (our two girls = constant chatter), Bev and I often take a walk around a two-mile loop in our neighborhood. On the menu of topics today is her strong response to a friend in another state who is acting self-absorbed, rigid, insecure, and arrogant. For the last five years or so, this friend has been unable to accept a very painful reality in her life. Because of that, this woman is often bemoaning her situation, frequently directing conversations back to the source of her pain. Bev has, so far, simply offered her patient support, encouragement, and honest feedback, but today I can tell she's reached a tipping point—she's gearing up to unload a piece of her mind on her friend. About halfway into our walk I start wondering what shrewdness would look like in this coming confrontation, so I ask: "Just for the sake of experiment, and given the insights you already have, would you be willing to consider how you could engage your friend more shrewdly on all of this?" She tells me she'd first need to express to me exactly what she wishes she could say to her friend directly.

When she's finished explaining her very understandable response, I ask: "You've explained your perspective very well, but what about my question?" She responds, very authentically I think: "That seems like work to me, and I don't know if I want to work that hard at this." And I'm nodding my head in agreement because I know just where she's coming from—no doubt, shrewd responses do take work. That's why so many of us, including me, aren't shrewd most of the time. But when a friendship is riding on that response, it seems worth the effort, and that's what I say to Bev. "Just for the sake of the experiment," I ask, "what's something in your life that feels a lot like the painful reality in your friend's life?" She quickly reels off two things that fit the description. Then I think for a moment and offer this: "If you can connect with her on a feeling level by understanding your own struggles to accept the 'pain elephant in your room,' then maybe you can win the right to say something about the way she's struggling." Maybe, I venture, as Bev thinks about her own responses to the painful realities of her life, she could simply extend that interior conversation to her friend. I say, "Maybe this would help you communicate that you are for her as a preamble to you saying a hard thing to her."

My wife is quiet, deep in thought, churning through what I'm saying, opening herself to the experiment. Then I ask: "How do you typically respond to someone you know is not for you?" She looks at me and says, "Not well." I hold my hands out in front of me like a stop sign and say, "Like this?" She nods and gets quiet again. She's doing the "hard work" of crafting a shrewder response to her friend—considering how to apply the right force in the right place at the right time to move her friend out of the prison of victimhood and into a place of freedom. Ten minutes later, after I'm back at my desk at home, Bev reminds me of why I love her so much. She could have been frustrated with my feedback, but, instead, she comes into my office and thanks me for our conversation: "I really needed that—you not only challenged me to think through a shrewd way to bring this up to my friend, you also challenged me to be for her instead of against her." And this is what it means to wrestle with the best way to apply force in the right place at the right time. It is work, but only because we're so unpracticed at it. Thankfully, we can get through most of our everyday interactions using our relational default setting—openhearted and direct—as long as we're prepared to live and move and breathe shrewdly when it's warranted. And to do that we'll have to set aside our natural revulsion for shrewd's darker roots.


The Dark Art of Old Man Potter

To be labeled shrewd is an insult to most Christians—only scoundrels, ne'er-dowells, and the pirates of Wall Street wear the description well. This is why we're not at all surprised, for example, when a wicked character in a film acts shrewdly—that's just what wicked characters do. A case in point ...

Among the many moments that sear like parables in the classic holiday film It's a Wonderful Life is the scene where Old Man Potter tries to convince the young, self-sacrificing George Bailey to join him in his predatory business ventures. Potter is a craggy, bitter, small-town robber baron amassing a fortune by siphoning every bit of financial margin from the poor working-class fathers and mothers who are forced to deal with him. His great purpose in life is to dominate—to capture and control all sources of power and commerce in little old Bedford Falls, no matter what the cost. His food is the freedom of others, and he fills his belly with the fruits of his narcissism. Shrewdness is his weapon of choice, of course. So he first studies how George works to discover what motivates him, then surgically leverages his barely hidden resentments, heartbreaks, and longings for his own purposes. This is what the cycle of shrewd looks like from Potter's perspective:

1. George has a lifelong dream to do something really big in the world, but that dream has continually, repeatedly been subjugated to responsibility, duty, and service. So, shrewdly, Potter offers him a job that promises him a slightly twisted, and ultimately evil, version of his dreams.

2. George has always had a wanderlust, dreaming of world travel from the time he was a boy. But every opportunity has slipped through his fingers, repeatedly and sometimes at the last moment. So, shrewdly, Potter promises him a couple of trips to Europe every year if he will abandon his ideals and accept a position with his firm.

3. George's self-sacrificing leadership of his dead father's low-margin Building & Loan has condemned him to perpetual financial pressures at home. So, shrewdly, Potter offers him ten times his current salary, wiping out his greatest source of daily stress.


If you set aside your obvious disgust for Potter as a person, you must admit he's the smartest person in the film, right up until the end—he has shrewdly studied the pressure points of frustration and wounding in George's life, has discovered how they are motivating him, and then applies the right force in the right place at the right time. He's determined to destroy George and everything he represents, but Potter has been repeatedly thwarted when he's used a more direct approach. So he concocts a much shrewder plan—he comes at George sideways, from a place of surprising leverage that wobbles George's seemingly unshakeable integrity.

In a pivotal scene in the film, George lights up the expensive cigar Potter offers him, and the smoke from it curls around his head like a poisonous wreath. The leverage is working. George, for a moment hypnotized, is living in the alternate universe Potter has painted for him, and the one man in the film who can be counted on for his virtue is this close to giving it all away. It's only when George reaches across Potter's massive desk to shake his hand that the spell is broken—the touch of the evil man's hand awakens George to the poisonous vapors that fill the room, and he comes to his senses. As George's head clears, he responds with fury. The fury is directed more toward himself than it is toward Potter, because Potter has come this close to stealing his soul for "a mess of pottage," and George is incensed at himself for even considering it.

The story, as you know, ends in fairy-tale fashion—happily ever after. A rescuing angel named Clarence arrives to give George the gift of seeing what the world would be like if he'd never been born. The gaping truth of his never-born existence sets off a chain reaction of misery and darkness for his family and everyone in the small town of Bedford Falls. He recoils from the experience, and his desperation leads to a rebirth ... rather literally. And so, through the generosity of all of those who've benefited from George's selfless love over the years, Potter is thwarted. Niceness wins in the end, and shrewdness is punished. There's only one problem with the rise and fall of shrewd Old Man Potter in this film....

In real life, Potter would've squashed George like a fly.

People like Potter—cunning and committed and shrewdly evil—make appetizers out of nice, principled guys who are repelled and surprised by their enemy's "dirty work." George Bailey is a virtuous metronome, a sheep unaware that he's been tagged for slaughter (just as the apostle Paul described the followers of Jesus: "we were considered as sheep to be slaughtered"—Rom. 8:36). And Potter, a living metaphor for Satan, is determined to destroy those who have what he wants—he is hardwired to "steal and kill and destroy" (John 10:10). People like George are typically no match for them—they're not expecting to deal with "steal and kill and destroy," and even when they see it coming they don't know what to do about it. Most of us could not stomach picking up the very tools Old Man Potter uses to thwart the evil he intends. George's lack of shrewdness in dealing with Potter almost drives him to suicide, because he's a nice guy, and nice guys don't do shrewd. When the truth about the "game" shrewd people are playing finally dawns on nice people like George and you and me (if it ever does), we are plunged into rage and despair. We suddenly realize we're playing poker with Satan. And that is literally true because, once again, "our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places" (Eph. 6:12).


Nice No More

We're disgusted by Old Man Potter. But we're drawn to George Bailey because he seems so much like the person we want to be—a gritty, determined, dependable, nice guy. In today's Christian culture, where nice is naturally venerated as both the primary evidence of faith and its primary expression—from our earliest days in Sunday school right through to the senior ladies quilting circle—very few of us do shrewd. "Conniving" does not fall under any definition of "nice," and, therefore, shrewd behavior seems un-Christian. And those scattered few believers who do act shrewdly are reluctant to come out of the closet; they are equally reluctant to pass on to others what they know. This is why, when Jesus tells us in Matthew 11:12 that the kingdom of God "suffers violence, and violent men take it by force," we scratch our heads, then quickly jump over that verse like it's a mud puddle. He's saying the kingdom of God is under assault, and that some kind of force is therefore necessary for advancing it. How many sermons have you heard on that little enigmatic passage? Zero.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Shrewd by RICK LAWRENCE. Copyright © 2012 Rick Lawrence. Excerpted by permission of David C. Cook.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Meet the Author

The author of dozens of books including Sifted, Rick Lawrence has been editor of Group magazine for over twenty years and is the co-leader of the Simply Youth Ministry Conference. Lawrence is a consultant to national research organizations and a frequent conference and workshop speaker. He and his family live in Colorado.

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Shrewd: Daring to Live the Startling Command of Jesus 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 19 reviews.
MarkDeVries More than 1 year ago
Startling and unsettling, no one can help me shake through my assumptions about life better than Rick Lawrence. Love this guy.
LFix More than 1 year ago
There are some books that communicate a wonderful truth. Then there are books that challenge you to transformational thinking. Shrewd, is among the latter. By taking a look at the parable of the Shrewd manager we come to understand as Believers what that word truly means. We have been taught that it is for those who are crafty or un-Christlike. However, the truth is that this is a way of learning to live in the Lord and the world. We can take a new perspective on attacking those situations that seem immovable- by understanding the ways that we can use leverage. Not only do we hear the theory- but there is a practical approach that enables us to know HOW to be Shrewd in the best possible way. Rick Lawrence is a great storyteller, communicator and his love for the Lord is contagious.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Seriously, this is a wonderful healing and challenging book for anyone wanting to know Jesus better. Don't stop go, don't collect $200, go directly and purchase this book. It will stir, befuddle, strengthen and kindle fierceness with the Lord Himself. Watch out!
CamBrennan More than 1 year ago
If there is one thing I've learned about Rick Lawrence over the last few years it is this: he gets it. His passionate pursuit of Christ is compelling, encouraging, and challenging. Reading his books is like a constant assault on what I thought I knew and it is no different with 'Shrewd'. Rick takes a difficult parable and a difficult instruction from Jesus and uses them to expertly explain the power shrewd and innocence have when they team up. As someone who is not shrewd in most areas of my life, I've been Mr. Nice Christian for far too long, this book was exceptionally challenging to me. It was not discouraging, rather Rick has, as he always seems to do, encouraged me to move forward in my faith and mature by growing closer to God. This book will challenge you, it will make you uncomfortable, and it will cause you to examine your motivations. All great reasons why you should read this book.
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VicG More than 1 year ago
Rick Lawrence in his new book, “Shrewd” published by David C. Cook gives us Daring to Live the Startling Command of Jesus. From the Back Cover: It’s the one Bible story you won’t hear in church. It doesn’t seem to make sense: Jesus tells his disciples to take a lesson from Satan himself. A scandalous idea? Yes. Essential to the Christian life? Definitely. Drawing on Jesus’s parable of the shrewd manager in Luke 16, Rick Lawrence explores Jesus’s shocking mandate to be as shrewd as Satan and as innocent as the Holy Spirit. In fact, Jesus implies, if we are going to be any good for the Kingdom of God, we’ve got to be a lot shrewder than we are now. Shrewd shows us how Jesus was naturally shrewd in every encounter he had, using leverage such as laughter, generosity, and bluntness to influence a situation for good. God calls us to be shrewd without evil intent, just as Jesus was. Because the truth is that we have no salvation outside of the holy shrewdness of a loving God. And that’s a scandalous story worth telling. The Dictionary defines shrewd as, “marked by clever discerning awareness and hardheaded acumen.” I have to admit the parable in Luke chapter 16 is not one of my favorites. Jesus is telling the story and He tells us flat-out at the beginning that the manager is unjust. As the story unfolds we find him acting even more unjust. Yet, at the end of the story, this unjust manager is praised by his master. Then Jesus tells His disciples that they should be shrewd like that manager. He tells them shrewd like a serpent, wise like a dove. Pastor Lawrence has done it again. He has taken a hard teaching from Jesus and make it not only easy to understand but easy to apply to our lives. He has taken the negative connotation out of the word and just made it useful. We need to understand that this is a command from Jesus so not only do we need to understand the parable but we need to apply it to our lives as well. Pastor Lawrence in “Shrewd” has made that possible. Shrewdness, then, is a way of living and relating that Jesus first modeled for us, then commanded us to do likewise. I guarantee you this is not a book you can only read once then put it on the shelf and forget about it. You will come back to it again and again. Everyone should have a copy of this book. It will help immensely! If you would like to listen to interviews with other authors and professionals please go to Kingdom Highlights where they are available On Demand. To listen to 24 hours non-stop, commercial free Christian music please visit our internet radio station Kingdom Airwaves Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book for free from David C. Cook for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Shrewd is a great book on something not many people talk about. Everyone thinks to be a Christian you have to be nice, sweet, gentle, and fairly limp wristed. This book though is a great piece on the topic of dealing shrewdly as Jesus commanded us too. Rick does an excellent job of looking at the life of Jesus and showing us how it was first modeled by our savior. Anyone who has been doing youth ministry (or any ministry) for that matter always has great stories to tell. Rick has a ton of them. I jumped around quite a bit just because wherever you seemed to pick it up it still seemed to grab you. Definitely a great book and needed reminder in today's culture!
darrensutton More than 1 year ago
Nobody unpacks Scripture like Rick Lawrence. With unfaltering precision, he can dissect one passage - one verse! - like a skilled surgeon using an implement the rest of the world has yet to even try! Shrewd - like his first work, Sifted - takes a long look at a short verse in a way most Christians have never considered. And Shrewd, also like Sifted, does not disappoint. The leadership principles contained within will revolutionize the way people think about themselves, their relationships, and their circles of influence. Though the book is based on Scripture, the wisdom contained within is completely user friendly - regardless of where one's faith-base lies...or if they even have one, at all. Grab a copy - and be prepared to wrestle down the way your approach every relationship in your life....
kylemerkel More than 1 year ago
“I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves." - Jesus Rick Lawrence tackles this often overlooked and never-preached-on passage that is just as important for us today as it was for the 12 disciples. In a very practical way, Lawrence explores what it actually means to be "shrewd" and how we as Christians must be employ shrewd tactics in order to combat the enemy in our world today. By learning to apply the right pressure, at the right time, in the right way, we can help advance the kingdom of God in effective ways and thwart Satan's plans to derail us. This is an excellent book that draws you in from page 1. I highly recommend this book to everyone who wants to learn how to make a deep impact on this world for Christ! Come learn how to be as shrewd as a snake and as innocent as a dove!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Rick Lawrence writes like Philip Yancey at times and he loves to write about Jesus. I could feel the freshness of his discovery about the Lord's instructions come through in these pages and I was carried along. SHREWD traverses back and forth between rich biblical exposition and transparent disclosures by an author determined to actually be helpful to us hungry readers. This book is already bearing fruit in me as I consider how to stay innocent while being shrewd with others.
Jake_Kircher More than 1 year ago
You don't hear many pastor's teaching about being shrewd but Rick Lawrence convincingly helps us understand why more should! Before reading this, I would have said being shrewd wasn't a good thing, especially for a Christian. Now though, with Lawrence's insight and solid Biblical explanations, I realize that every Christian should be living a very shrewd life for the sake of the Kingdom. Satan is going to fight for what he wants, why shouldn't we as God's children do the same thing and fight for what God wants? I you are tired of things in your life always being the same or if you are tired of just not seeing results from efforts to make changes in your life or someone else's, you should read this book! It's not a forumla to get everything you want but living shrewdly will help you better understand the things around you and then creatively help you come up with other possible solutions.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Gaining favor with others begins with a shrewd plan. Rick Lawrence has laid out that plan masterfully and craftily. Read it, practice it - come out of every life situation with more than you went into it.
Brooklyn_Lindsey More than 1 year ago
Lawrence gently yet powerfully re-introduces what it means to be shrewd as snakes and innocent as doves--unpacking the beautiful education Jesus gave us in the life he lived. Few of us have dared to enter into a commitment to live this way, courageously creative, hearts anchored in innocence--but those who do will not only change the world but will also experience the true freedom and joy found in Christ. Shrewd will stay on your shelf or in your reader as long as Crazy Love and it's message will camp in your heart forever.
BritWindel More than 1 year ago
Rick Lawrence does it again with Shrewd. He takes a single word, and unpacks a theology of Christ likeness and Christian living that is much needed for our world today. In his newest book Shrewd, Rick unpacks another great passage of Jesus that is overlooked. Behold I am sending you out like sheep…therefore be SHREWD! As a pastor answering the call to be a church planter this book spoke incredible layers of life into this journey encouraging me to look deeper into what Jesus is ‘commanding’ of us all. It has given me a new lens to think through as we plant this church knowing we must be shrewd and innocent as we set foot into our community for God. If you are a parent, teacher, pastor, church leader, teen, business man or woman and beyond this book is a must for your living the full life Jesus has for you.
NedE More than 1 year ago
I caution you, this book is unsettling. It must be taken as a whole. That said, Shrewd did for me what few books nowadays do: it helped me know Jesus better. Once again, I was astonished by a simple yet profound reality: Jesus is not who I expect him to be. He is altogether unique. This might not sound very profound, but to me it is one of the most incredible truths in life. Jesus is a unique personality. He is not all things to all people. He is one of a kind. And therefore, he can be known personally and as an individual. And Rick does a great job of unpackaging this strange parable in a way that shines a spotlight on the true nature of Jesus, the "Sensei of Shrewd." I appreciate Rick's bravery and tact as he dances on the knife's edge. As he points out, shrewdness is neutral - it's how one uses this tool that makes it destructive or redemptive. The examples we see of shrewd behavior are so often manipulative, conniving and cruel. The life of Jesus, however, tells a different story. Jesus uses shrewdness like a surgeon uses a scalpel. He cuts you open, for sure, but he cures you, too. Shrewd surgically cut, exposed, and ultimately helped me gain a new appreciation for how ruthless and relentless Jesus is willing to be in order to rescue hopeless causes like me. Thank you, Rick, for putting it all on the line again.
MaryJo-Colorado More than 1 year ago
Have you tackled challenges in life, and often failed? Shrewd taught me how to wield some of life's hurdles with a fresh focus. Like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz who didn't know she always had the power to click her heels and find the desire of her heart, this book shows how through God, we are empowered to be shrewd. We always have been, but perhaps we didn't know it! I love the personal, heartfelt way Rick Lawrence shares a side of Jesus you may have never seen and a lesson Jesus modeled that you may have never learned. I recommend this book for anyone who is hungry to make positive changes in their life!
lsurp More than 1 year ago
Rick Lawrence has done it again! I love how Lawrence turns the “nice” Jesus mindset upside down. Jesus calls us to be shrewd, yet our society perceives shrewd as a negative quality. This book illustrates the model of living in the world, not of the world. Lawrence describes how shrewd is really speaking in such a way that others can hear what you are saying – even meeting the “what’s in it for me” mindset. A great read with excellent insight.
RSimmons4 More than 1 year ago
In Shrewd, Rick Lawrence masterfully dissects Matthew 10:16, providing contextualization for those wishing to impact others for Christ through identification and illustration of the levers used by Jesus. In his writing, the reader not only must encounter Jesus in a different light, but must also embrace the high risk/high reward challenge of engaging others with eyes wide open. Where Lawrence’s first book, Sifted, cut to the core on an intrapersonal level, Shrewd cuts to the core on an interpersonal level. The reader is left changed – and with the desire to go out and change others.