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Unoffendable: How Just One Change Can Make All of Life Better Paperback – April 14, 2015
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"[A] charming handbook for the contemporary Christian that will also find its audience among pastors." ---Library Journal --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
About the Author
Brant Hansen is a radio host who has won multiple National Personality of the Year awards. He also works with CURE International, a worldwide network of hospitals that brings life-changing medical care and the good news of God’s love to children with treatable conditions. Brant currently lives in Northern California with his wife, Carolyn; his son, Justice; and his daughter, Julia. He can be found at branthansen.com and @branthansen on Twitter.
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I was fortunate enough to get an advanced copy of the book. It is written from a Christian point of view, but even skeptics will be able to get something out of this book and enjoy it in the process. Hansen isn't preachy or teachy. He doesn't even come off as an expert on the subject. In fact, each page is laced with humility which is very appropriate for the subject matter because through the pages, we discover how important humility is in being unoffendable.
Hansen chides those that want to cherry-pick scriptures justifying their anger and has a firm answer to them, but of course he does it without taking offense.
The unoffendable message is given to the reader packed with humorous and heart touching stories told in Hansen’s quirky, but charming way. He draws on Christian authors and artists and isn’t shy about picking on evangelical culture, as much as he does himself.
What I found out as I approached the end of the book was that Brant Hansen is right. I was not as prone to be offended in my daily life as I was before reading. Sure, I had times where the gut reaction of offense wanted to surface, but from reading the book being unoffendable wasn't quite as difficult as it was before and will probably get even easier day by day unless I turn loose of the concept. I do not plan to do that because I prefer peace in my life rather than strife.
I whole-heartedly recommend Unoffendable by Brant Hansen. Although it helped me a great deal, it doesn’t come off as a self-help book. It is more like a memoir or an amusing conversation with an interesting friend at a coffee shop. It was so enjoyable that I was always ready for another cup.
This book convicted me. Hansen explains that we Christians have no reason to take offense, that as Christians, we’re not only instructed to forgive, but we’re to abandon our ‘righteous anger’ since such things are God’s domain, not ours. Pride and selfishness contribute to our tendency to take offense, to judge others, again, something we Christians are cautioned against. When Hansen writes about our desire to think anger is sometimes justified or good or appropriate, he notes, by drawing attention to several verses in the Bible, such anger isn’t scriptural. On the contrary, our anger, our indignation, is condemned. In fact, Christians are instructed to love and to forgive.
I’ll admit this is hard, particularly for me. I related to Hansen’s examples of being cut off in traffic by oblivious idiots and the like and growing angry. His instruction forced me to look inward, at myself, at the fact that if I were honest, I’m just as guilty of stupidity, that I probably annoy others too, which, incidentally, I’m sure, if confronted with, I would justify or rationalize, at least in my own head. I’ve little doubt applying Hansen’s advice will go a long way to lowering my blood pressure.
Highly recommended. Five out of five stars. G
From the dedication (To all those who want grace for themselves, but struggle to extend it to others. Wait: that's everybody), to the very end, Hansen points out that it's not my "job" to fret over what everyone else is doing wrong; I am not in control. It calls me to let go of the idea that I have any control over people, places and situations, because I don't. In chapter 2, he says, "Being offended is a tiring business. Letting go gives you energy.", and "I can let stuff go because it's not all about me. Simply reminding myself to refuse to take offense is a big part of the battle." And he's right...Since finishing the book, I now make a concerted effort to stop and remind myself that it's truly not about me. When someone cuts me off in traffic...well, I've undoubtedly done the same thing or worse. Through this book, I am working on not being surprised or upset at other's failures, as well as my own. It's freeing me to love people (and myself) just as we are.
Brant backs up his book clearly with scripture in an easily understood way. He uses personal experiences and shares his struggles which makes the book real. Even though it's challenging on a spiritual, personal level, it's written in a fun way. If you have ever listened to Brant Hansen on the radio, you know that he has a somewhat "warped" sense of humor, and you never really know what he might say next. It's the same in the book. He makes this concept a bit easier to digest because you know he is right there with you.