“ReFocus, Living a Life that Reflects God’s Heart,” by Jim Daly, President of Focus on the Family, was written to “motivate Christians to transcend political agendas and partisan politics and instead interact with others in a way that will consistently reveal the heart of God to a desperately hurting world.”
At only 195 pages, it is a quick read, sprinkled with many true and interesting stories of both Jim’s own life and ministry as well as those of various other spiritual giants throughout history. Daly comes on strong with an emphasis on grace, rather than “winning” the argument for righteousness sake. He compels us to live more like Jesus and “reflect God’s heart as we positively engage people, no matter what their beliefs or politics are in this changing and increasingly contentious world.” Daly asserts that the time has come to adjust, engage the culture; “make it new.” He further says that, ”...simply building bigger churches, drawing in larger numbers of people, and emulating cultural norms with coffee shops and rock performance caliber worship bands will not be enough to turn the tide.” As is the case with many Christian leaders, Jim has come under scrutiny for engaging in conversations with those that do not share a Christian world view, more often than not, from other Christians.
One of those encounters did not end the way Jim had hoped. Daly invited the owner of a shoe company to share the owner’s vision of giving shoes away to needy children. It was taped in California with the intent of airing on the daily FOF program several weeks later. It never happened. The owner got such flack from the homosexual community for associating with a ministry that upholds the biblical stance regarding homosexual behavior, that he asked Daly not to air the broadcast. Daly agreed although legally, he could have done so. Jim was most grieved that a group of very vocal minority activists prevented perhaps millions of shoes being given to innocent children.
A notable quote for this reviewer from the book was, “We don’t worry because we fear God’s will won’t be done; we worry because we’re afraid that things won’t go our way.” He goes on to say that as we discern God’s will for our lives in this chaotic cultural scene, we must stop worrying about the outcome. “We are not called to be successful; we are called to be faithful.”
While this reviewer wouldn’t call Daly’s book a “must read,” it does help define a Christian’s role in today’s society, emphasizing love over being “right.”
(Reviewed by Marilyn Barton.)