Over the years, I have had the privilege of teaching God’s Word as a layman. An unprofessional. Most of this has been in the context of adult Sunday school classes.
What I love about teaching is looking into the faces of those present and getting immediate feedback. That makes no sense at all, they may be saying without actually speaking. So when I see that face, I can step back and take another run at what I just said, trying to say it more clearly or inserting an illustration to make the point.
Then of course every teacher loves the smiles that say Bingo! I get that. I needed that. My wife, Nancy, calls these, “Yes faces.”
But writing a book is different than speaking to a live group. A lot different. It’s like speaking to a class all right, but this time each person has a brown grocery bag over his or her head with little holes cut out for their eyes.
So as I’m writing, I have no idea whether what I’ve said is making any sense, whether people are hanging on every word, or trying to fight a short night of sleep. Dozing off.
This makes book writing an always challenging and sometimes disconcerting experience.
And it dares the author to make every paragraph on every page interesting.
* * *
Many years ago, the late Dr. Tim LaHaye, the author of myriad books, gave me a clue as to how to effectively communicate this way. I’ve never forgotten this and have shared it with many aspiring and seasoned writers. “A book is a really long letter to one person,” he said.
So I often have one specific man in mind as I write. “This book is being written to you and you alone,” I’m saying.
My sincere hope is that Lies Men Believe will be just that. A quiet, interrupted conversation. Maybe over a cup of coffee at our favorite hangout. I speak, you listen. You watch me as I you talk. Then you speak and I listen back. I watch you as you talk.
Now, the false assumption could be made that, as an author, I write as someone who has arrived. Someone who has it all buttoned up. Not so. Not by a long shot. In truth, I’m a sinner. A man who hangs onto the cross of Jesus Christ, instruction and help . . . and a good friend. Maybe you and I have this in common?
If so, I’d love to come alongside . . . man to man, friend to friend, sinner to sinner, redeemed man to redeemed man . . . and talk about the truth that will set you free. There are many truths to unpack together, so to be part of the whole conversation, you’ll have to pick up the book. When you do, here are a few highlights:
I cannot earn God’s acclamation. I can only receive His favor.
Real men are free to feel and express deep emotions. When I do so, it’s actually proof that I am a real man with a heart like God’s.
God’s grace is needed both for the phony everyone sees and the scoundrel inside I know so well.
In addition to doing good things for my wife, she needs to hear me say kind things . . . including those three magic words: “I love you.”
God alone can give me ultimate happiness and fulfillment. As I seek Him, I will find the truest joy.
That’s a taste of what you’ll read in my letter to you, Lies Men Believe: And the Truth that Sets Them Free.
Are you ready to talk? Good. The coffee is steaming and all set to enjoy.