The Pressure's Off: There's a New Way to Live [NOOK Book]

Overview

There are two basic approaches to life–two pathways. One creates pressure, the other provides freedom.

In the Old Way of life, as best-selling author, psychologist, and spiritual director Larry Crabb describes it, “you have decided that what you most want out of life is within your reach, and you are doing whatever you believe it takes to get it.” But in the New Way of life, “you have realized that what you most want is beyond your reach, and ...
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The Pressure's Off: There's a New Way to Live

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Overview

There are two basic approaches to life–two pathways. One creates pressure, the other provides freedom.

In the Old Way of life, as best-selling author, psychologist, and spiritual director Larry Crabb describes it, “you have decided that what you most want out of life is within your reach, and you are doing whatever you believe it takes to get it.” But in the New Way of life, “you have realized that what you most want is beyond your reach, and you are trusting God for the satisfaction you seek. You want Him. Nothing less, not even His blessings, will do.”

The Old Way–the way most Christians define life and pursue fulfillment–is fundamentally wrong and harmful. It leaves us tired, in bondage, and feeling distant from God. But the New Way brings true freedom and refreshment as we tap into the power to draw closer to God in a personal way.

“We can’t always make life work. But we can always draw near to God. There is a different way to approach our problems. There is a NEW WAY to live.” —Larry Crabb
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Expectations have never been higher. Without the most recognizable markers of success, many non-Christians and Christians alike feel dissatisfaction and a vague discontent with life. They seek after blessings and believe that the good life comes to those who follow the rules. Not necessarily so, states Crabb (Finding God), who has had his own trouble with such "linear" thinking. Crabb details how this behavior-leads-to-blessings theology has become endemic within the church today. This "Law of Linearity" no longer holds true, he claims. Instead, Christians can embrace the "Law of Liberty," discovering the embrace of God without the pressure to perform. For openers, Crabb lays the groundwork for his passionate plea to forsake restraints that bind. Far and above any blessing God may give, he says, Christians' most urgent need is for the Father himself. Crabb soberly describes how weary this generation of Christ's followers has become, and how far, to their own shame, they've distanced themselves from God's plan for humanity. While there's no simple cure for the rampant decay that results from self-centeredness, Crabb notes that genuine seekers can be recognized by where they expend their energies. Crabb, who at times reads as self-deprecating, offers statements that are catchy and thought-provoking but not gimmicky: "Only the mature value the blessing of presence over the blessing of presents." Crabb's message resonates convincingly, giving Christian readers who have embraced the gospel of good behavior some fresh food for thought. (Mar.) Forecast: Crabb has a solid sales record in the CBA, a market that will likely welcome this refreshing title. WaterBrook will simultaneously release a workbook for individual and group study. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780307822673
  • Publisher: Crown Religion/Business/Forum
  • Publication date: 6/20/2012
  • Sold by: Random House
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 585,934
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

Dr. Larry Crabb is the founder of New Way Ministries and a best-selling author, psychologist, and spiritual director who is known internationally not only through his many books, but also as a leading seminar and conference speaker for the past two decades. Some of his landmark books include Inside Out, Finding God, The Marriage Builder, Connecting, and Shattered Dreams. Larry currently serves as Distinguished Scholar in Residence at Colorado Christian University, and has served on the faculties of Regent College, Grace Theological Seminary, Florida Atlantic University, and the University of Illinois. He had a private practice in clinical psychology for ten years. Larry and his wife, Rachael, have two grown sons and two grandchildren, and live near Denver, Colorado.
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Read an Excerpt

Two Paths

Right now, at this very moment, you’re walking one of two paths through life.

Either

you’ve decided that what you most want out of life is within your reach, and you’re doing whatever you believe it takes to get it

or

you’ve realized that what you most want is beyond your reach, and you’re trusting God for the satisfaction you seek. You want Him. Nothing less, not even His blessings, will do.

If you’re walking the first path, your life is filled with pressure. Inside, where no one sees, your soul is weary. You see no way to step off the treadmill. Or life is going well, and you’re satisfied. But you sense something’s wrong, something’s missing. The pressure is still there.

If you’re walking the second path, you have hope. Your soul may be weary, your interior world may be filled with struggles no one sees, but you have hope. At times you rest. Something is alive in you; the desire of your heart is not smothered. You can taste freedom. And the taste brings joy. The first path is the Old Way. It involves a quid-pro-quo arrangement with God or, if not with God, then with the order in the universe, with the rules that make life work. If you do what you should, then you get what you want, either from a moral God who rewards good behavior or from an orderly world that you effectively use. It leaves you in control of how things turn out in your life. The Old Way promises a better life filled with good things that make you happy.

But it never delivers, though it may seem to for a long time. The Old Way doesn’t work for one reason: You never keep your end of the bargain, not completely. No one does.

The second path is the New Way. In this arrangement, God first plants a desire in your heart, a longing that actually values His presence over His blessings; then He invites you to live out that desire, to abandon yourself to what you most want. It takes you out of control, but it sets you free. The New Way promises a better hope than the good things of life. It promises nearness to God, and it delivers, though not right away and often through suffering.

Most people live the Old Way all of their lives; most people who go to church live a religious version of the Old Way. It goes something like this: If you want good kids, raise them according to Christian principles. If you want a good marriage, understand a biblical model for marriage and live up to it as closely as you can.

If you want God to bless your ministry, follow godly principles of leadership. If you want to be emotionally healthy, practice spiritual disciplines and trust Jesus for your needs.

If you want close friends, learn to accept yourself and to be vulnerable, authentic, and forgiving.

People who live the Old Way believe the Law of Linearity, a law that states there is an A that leads to the B you want. Figure out what A is, do it, and you’ll have the life you most desire. The pressure’s on.

People who live the New Way believe the Law of Liberty. They come as they are. They do not bathe before they approach God. They come to God for the bath. They feel no pressure to change either their inner life or their outer life, but they desire change in both spheres. And they are eager to do whatever will create the opportunity for change, even if it means dipping themselves seven times in a muddy river or marching around an enemy’s wall for seven days and blowing trumpets. They live for the truest desire of their hearts: to know God and to enjoy Him. They do not live for a better life in this world. And when their life here is hard, when things fall apart, they most clearly reveal who they are. They’re citizens of another world who most want what this world can never provide. So they wisely indulge their deepest desire and trust God to reveal Himself to them. That’s the Law of Liberty.

Most of us are living the Old Way. Some of us can feel the emptiness it never fills. We’re working hard to make life work so we can feel good. The pressure’s on.

There’s a new way to live that takes the pressure off. Join me as together we search for it.
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 26, 2006

    Read it and you'll see the Amazing God's Mercy

    It's about the God's Mercy and Grace. This book help us to undesrtand the God's Mercy.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 13, 2004

    Typical Crabb book

    Dr. Crabb wrote this book to share his ideas about the ¿two basic approaches to life¿: the ¿Old Way,¿ described as ¿deciding what you want most out of life, and doing whatever it takes to get it,¿ and the ¿New Way,¿ which is ¿wanting God more than anything, that even His blessings will not satisfy you (Jacket Cover).¿ The dilemma of every Christian is to ¿take matters into his own hands¿ and fall into the pattern of ¿the old way,¿ which gives the person more control over their situation. They run their everyday lives with their own energy and become sad when things do not go as they planned. There is a sense of selfishness because our needs become more important than the needs of others, including spouse and children¿¿ it¿s all about me¿ (66). People expect to receive blessings from God just because they have done certain things ¿right¿ (i.e. ¿godly businessmen who observed the highest level of integrity and expect that God will bless their bottom line¿) (55). Dr. Crabb shared, ¿No Old Testament saint was ever good enough to merit God¿s blessings¿none of them earned God¿s favor by performing up to God¿s standards¿ (55), then stated, ¿We¿re never more deceived than when we think we¿re living for God but in fact are living for His blessings¿ (82). Dr. Crabb inspires the reader to ¿value God the most¿ and to consider blessings as secondary ¿passions¿(103). This statement is not revolutionary because it is a foundational command: ¿Love the Lord with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength¿ (Mark 12:30), but instead of offering practical ideas on how to accomplish this, Dr. Crabb reiterates the differences between the ¿old way¿ and the ¿new way.¿ He does, however, offer some vague suggestions on how to live the ¿new way of the Spirit¿: (1) Reflect on where you are; (2) Recognized the fork in the road that is always before you; (3) Refocus your goals; (4) Realize what God provides as the means of grace; and (5) Reorient your prayer life to match New Way living (159-61). When a Christian desires to align himself to God, then the steps Dr. Crabb shared happens naturally. The problem is his recipe for ¿living a new way of the Spirit¿ lacks concrete structure. He never addressed the ¿how¿ part of living the ¿new way.¿ He spent most of his time explaining then re-explaining what it means to live in the ¿old way.¿ He called Christians to live more authentic lives and contrasted the characteristics of both ways. Dr. Crabb said, ¿Followers of the New Way accept the unresolvable tension in life because their hope is in the invisible God,¿ and ¿Followers of the New Way struggle to be truly authentic, however their rest is in the present God¿ (171). He spoke of the end results of living the New Way, but he never addressed ¿how¿ one is to get there. On page 174, Dr. Crabb asked a pondering question, ¿Could I praise God without them (blessings)?¿ It seemed too harsh for Dr. Crabb to state, ¿The Old Way is demonic (175).¿ Maybe some people see blessings as an indication of God¿s care for them. The book of Job is an extraordinary example of the ¿new way¿ Dr. Crabb discussed (which really is not so ¿new¿ since we have a biblical example of it). Job¿s dedication to God is what our faith should be, but people are generally weak and sinful. People are affected by circumstances and can become distracted by them¿ which can come in between them and God. Dr. Crabb said, ¿I¿m not wrong for asking God that both I and the one I love will experience deep contentment and rest. But I am wrong for wanting the trouble to go away more than I want to draw near to God (210).¿ I understand Dr. Crabb¿s position, but I also know there are other reasons why people ask for blessings. This book is just like any other of Crabb¿s books¿new way versus old way with little practical application.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 4, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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