Stephen Mizell is a local pastor in my area. He preaches at Open Door Church, although I have never been to his church I have listened to their messages on Itunes. So I am familiar with his style.
In the introduction to the book, Mizell lays the ground work for what is to come. He asks a close friend of his “Can I do this and ever be right with God?” His friend knowing the situation gives him an answer filled with wisdom “you Can. But you will have to walk so far away from God to do it that the walk back will be difficult.”
“Knowing the truth is usually not where our problems lie. The heart of the problems lie with the application of the truth we already know. The greatest gap in the world is the gap between knowing and doing.”
“Your gifts will create a measure of success for you. Your character will sustain you, allowing you to continue to operate in those gifts. If you have a character issue, it will eventually override your successes. ”
“We need people close to us, not just our spouse, who feel free to speak into our lives about things that could be harmful or may need to be avoided. ”
“Your values shape your character. Your characters shapes your choices. Your choices shape your life. ”
This is the second book I have read this year that wants you to “establish values before a crisis” which is a very good point. We do not tend to make our best decisions under pressure. Mizell goes on to point you that “Your decision-making ability improves when you are prepared.”
Mizell brings up a good point from Andy Stanley’s book The Best Question Ever, in every decision you go to make you have to make you need to ask yourself the best question ever “Is this a wise decision?”
Throughout the book Mizell tells us ways to help our decision-making process from getting enough sleep, having people in our life that we listen to, to even not being bored.
On boredom, Mizell uses some psychology studies from John Eastwood of York University. Eastwood states “In a nutshell, it boiled down to boredom being the unfulfilled desire for satisfying activity.”
Some of the things that hinder us from getting back on track Mizell says are ignorance, arrogance, flawed thinking, and rebellion. Throughout the book, he talks about his affair. He talks about having to step away from preaching, how he lost friends and respect and the long walk back. He talks of the hard times and of the grace. He doesn’t try to hide or sugar coat any of his journey. He wants you to be able to learn from his mistakes