Matthew West shares the story behind his song of the same name in addition to other stories of people asking for, needing, and offering forgiveness. Interspersed with the stories are scriptural references about forgiveness, Christ’s sacrifice for us, and God’s mercy and grace. West also offers his thoughts on the stories and the scriptures.
I’ve read a lot of books about forgiveness. I struggle with forgiveness, both offering it and receiving it. This book explains how to do both. I was familiar with the story behind the song, which is why I wanted to read this book. I thought it would be interesting to read more about this story and the people involved in it. I sort of expected it to be fairly similar to other books I have read on the topic, which mainly consist of stories of people forgiving others and then everything is great again.
However, this book went above and beyond what I expected. My struggle with forgiveness is this – if you forgive someone, but still have the hurt feelings, does that mean you haven’t truly forgiven them. The most meaningful thing I read in this book is that just because you have forgiven someone, reconciliation doesn’t always follow. It seems simple, but the way West explained it really made a lot of sense. Trust takes time to rebuild.
I enjoyed the commentary related to each of the stories of forgiveness, and the stories themselves. The only critical thing I have to say is that I would have enjoyed more detail in the stories, or perhaps longer stories. I also thought it was great how West addressed the idea of forgiving yourself. It seems like most books on forgiveness focus on forgiving others, not forgiving ourselves. I enjoyed reading the story of Eric and his journey to accepting forgiveness for himself, especially how he talked about it being a daily battle.
In addition to the text of the book being outstanding, I also have to comment on the quality of the book itself. It is a small book in size, but the weight of it and the paper used for it were very high quality. It seems like an odd thing to take note of, but feeling the weight of the pages while reading it was very nice.
Everyone should read this book. It is a strong statement to make, but everyone is a sinner, therefore we all need forgiveness, and to forgive others. This book can help you (and me) on that journey. I can’t recommend it highly enough!
I received a complimentary copy of this book from BookSneeze in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.