Smith’s book was released in 2012 by New Growth Press. I saw it advertised, wanted to buy it, but had other financial priorities at the time. Then, one day a package arrived on my desk addressed for our former assistant pastor, John Banks. I contacted him and asked him what he wanted me to do. He said to go ahead and open the books, and see what they were. Smith’s book was one of them. He told me to keep them and contact New Growth Press and see if they wanted the books back. So I did. They told me that as long as I promised to blog about them, I could keep them.
First, let me say a hearty thanks to New Growth Press. I buy nearly everything they publish and read it. But it was nice to get the freebies! Second of all, let me tell you I love this book! Now let me explain why.
William Smith has done us all a favor by reminding us of the need we have to love. Even if our experience of human love has been deficient, our experience of divine love has not. This encourages us to press on in loving others well. I particularly enjoyed the frank reality of chapter 5 on longsuffering love. Anytime I read an author who says, “Nearly two years later, their marriage fell apart again. Life is like that, isn’t it? Very few of us – none of us – live fairy-tale endings (page 70)” I know I am in the presence of someone who has experienced the sting of counseling relationships that don’t end well. The honesty is refreshing, and this book is saturated with it. When the ideal is being upheld, you are told so. When the grit of grace is required, you’re told so. That connected with me.
Smith’s words speak truth, minister grace; provide hope and give biblical insight into how love reaches operates in our lives into the lives of others. If you have not yet read this book you should. If it is on your list, but not at or near the top, it should be. It will help you to show Christ’s love to others as he showed it to you.