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Waiting for Heaven: Freedom from the Incurable Addiction to Self

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Are you tempted beyond your power to resist? We come into the world relentlessly narcissistic, resisting the kind of rigorous self-examination that reveals what is ugly in us and what is our impact on others. Too often, we live with our felt well-being as our priority concern, and so we continue, incurably addicted to ourselves and powerless to resist whatever temptations p Are you tempted beyond your power to resist? We come into the world relentlessly narcissistic, resisting the kind of rigorous self-examination that reveals what is ugly in us and what is our impact on others. Too often, we live with our felt well-being as our priority concern, and so we continue, incurably addicted to ourselves and powerless to resist whatever temptations promise the sense of instant happiness we seek. The result includes addictions to: -drugs, legal or illegal; -food, its compulsive consumption; -sex, both legitimate, illegitimate, and perverted expressions; -money, to the pleasures and convenience and power money can buy; -influence, self-satisfying difference-making pleasure; -recognition, respect that provides personal significance; -and dozens of addictions to other sources of satisfaction that desperate souls crave. Could Heaven Possibly Matter to My Life Now? There is no question that addictions soil our souls, eventually taking control of our lives. The energy and motivation needed to serve the cause of Christ gets badly short-changed. That’s the bad news. Here’s the good news. Biblical Christianity provides a way to rise up from this quicksand: Waiting! Learning to eagerly wait for the Lord’s return is essential to overcoming the root demand beneath all addictions. But the choice to wait is easy to state but hard to make because arranging for a temporary and counterfeit experience quiets the demand of our tired and thirsty souls. While there is no path to walk that eliminates the struggle to resist temptation we can be moving into greater freedom from it every day. As we learn to wait eagerly for heaven when all our longings will be fully and forever satisfied, we will be inclined to live for one central reason: to make this life work as we want it to. Two things will then happen: One, we will find ourselves driven by self-centeredness, by an addictive concern for our own felt well-being; Two, whatever either numbs our discontent with things as they are or provides a convincing sense of satisfaction for our deeply felt longings will lead us toward addictions of any available variety, all fueled by a core addiction to self. Waiting for heaven to provide everything our souls yearn for, demanding nothing now, frees us to love well now, to delight God and to be there for others, requiring nothing in return. The result? Joy! The satisfaction of living and loving like Jesus.


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Are you tempted beyond your power to resist? We come into the world relentlessly narcissistic, resisting the kind of rigorous self-examination that reveals what is ugly in us and what is our impact on others. Too often, we live with our felt well-being as our priority concern, and so we continue, incurably addicted to ourselves and powerless to resist whatever temptations p Are you tempted beyond your power to resist? We come into the world relentlessly narcissistic, resisting the kind of rigorous self-examination that reveals what is ugly in us and what is our impact on others. Too often, we live with our felt well-being as our priority concern, and so we continue, incurably addicted to ourselves and powerless to resist whatever temptations promise the sense of instant happiness we seek. The result includes addictions to: -drugs, legal or illegal; -food, its compulsive consumption; -sex, both legitimate, illegitimate, and perverted expressions; -money, to the pleasures and convenience and power money can buy; -influence, self-satisfying difference-making pleasure; -recognition, respect that provides personal significance; -and dozens of addictions to other sources of satisfaction that desperate souls crave. Could Heaven Possibly Matter to My Life Now? There is no question that addictions soil our souls, eventually taking control of our lives. The energy and motivation needed to serve the cause of Christ gets badly short-changed. That’s the bad news. Here’s the good news. Biblical Christianity provides a way to rise up from this quicksand: Waiting! Learning to eagerly wait for the Lord’s return is essential to overcoming the root demand beneath all addictions. But the choice to wait is easy to state but hard to make because arranging for a temporary and counterfeit experience quiets the demand of our tired and thirsty souls. While there is no path to walk that eliminates the struggle to resist temptation we can be moving into greater freedom from it every day. As we learn to wait eagerly for heaven when all our longings will be fully and forever satisfied, we will be inclined to live for one central reason: to make this life work as we want it to. Two things will then happen: One, we will find ourselves driven by self-centeredness, by an addictive concern for our own felt well-being; Two, whatever either numbs our discontent with things as they are or provides a convincing sense of satisfaction for our deeply felt longings will lead us toward addictions of any available variety, all fueled by a core addiction to self. Waiting for heaven to provide everything our souls yearn for, demanding nothing now, frees us to love well now, to delight God and to be there for others, requiring nothing in return. The result? Joy! The satisfaction of living and loving like Jesus.

42 review for Waiting for Heaven: Freedom from the Incurable Addiction to Self

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jason Kanz

    Another great book from Larry Crabb. He continues to explore the concepts of thirst, relational sin, and the importance of the Trinity. I was initially concerned that he would encourage a passive waiting, though I should know his writing well enough at this point to understand he wouldn’t stop there. I was particularly grateful for chapter 10, which he titled “when the Trinity came alive, in me.” I agree with his statement that the exact center of the gospel is to live in the loving relationship Another great book from Larry Crabb. He continues to explore the concepts of thirst, relational sin, and the importance of the Trinity. I was initially concerned that he would encourage a passive waiting, though I should know his writing well enough at this point to understand he wouldn’t stop there. I was particularly grateful for chapter 10, which he titled “when the Trinity came alive, in me.” I agree with his statement that the exact center of the gospel is to live in the loving relationship with the Trinity that the father, son, and spirit all currently enjoy with one another.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Nathan Albright

    [Note: This book was provided free of charge by Adams PR Group in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.] In reading a book like this, one has to separate one's feelings about the author's own achievements according to his aims and purposes from what he is actually saying. And while there is a lot about the writer's approach and lack of self-awareness that really grated on me when I was reading this book, at the same time there is still a lot to appreciate as well th [Note: This book was provided free of charge by Adams PR Group in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.] In reading a book like this, one has to separate one's feelings about the author's own achievements according to his aims and purposes from what he is actually saying. And while there is a lot about the writer's approach and lack of self-awareness that really grated on me when I was reading this book, at the same time there is still a lot to appreciate as well that I think is well worth keeping in mind. And that can be difficult to do, but in a case like this it is worthwhile because this is the sort of book that can so easily offend a reader because the author is talking about a subject that is intensely personal to all of us--our addiction to the self--and does so in a maladroit way that makes it all too easy for the reader to reject the writer as a hypocrite (which he is) rather than to take the worthwhile points that the author says to heart even if the author is unable or unwilling to do so. This book is a bit more than 100 pages long and it is divided into three parts and fifteen chapters. The book begins with a foreword (misspelled as a forward in my copy), a prologue, an introduction, and a parable that are all designed to get the reader to think about how they think about themselves and about patience. After that the author talks about useful waiting (I), including self-addiction (1), Paul's cry of the heart in Romans 7 (2), a categorization of Christians (3), Moses (4) and his waiting (5), as well as foolish choices (6). After that the author discusses the difficult waiting that believers are sometimes called upon to do (II), including the struggle for self-control (7), whether self-control is possible and what it depends on (8), the passions that strength the power to wait (9), a rather mystical view of the Trinity that helps the author to wait for heaven (10), and the power of a vision (11). After that the author discusses about powerful waiting (III), with chapters on the pathway (12), the power of choice (13), the author's attempt to wrap up his book (14), and a discussion about the glory that is in Christ and not in ourselves (15), after which there is an afterword, acknowledgements, and notes. Indeed, the hypocrisy of the author is instructive in that it demonstrates how hard it is to get out of our own way when we are trying to encourage moral growth and development in the other. The author claims not to judge before complacently dividing Christians up into three categories and telling "complacent" Christians that they are in the suburbs of Laodicea, which most people (myself included) would consider to be judging, to say nothing of his left-wing approach to social justice as being an aspect of godly relationality. Calling your potential reading audience potential racists would certainly qualify as being judgmental to most readers, I would suspect. And then the author demonstrates not only the usual obsession that readers have with their other writings but even an obsession with how long this book is getting because he did not plot it out effectively but draws attention to the chapters he adds beyond his expectations. Someone who is as concerned as the author is about himself and about his legitimacy as a writer has no business telling other people to be less focused on themselves. Physician, heal yourself. But if the author serves as an example of what not to be when trying to get over yourself, it can be of assistance still.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Steve Alde

    I appreciate Dr. Larry Crabb's insights into the intersection of Scripture and his inner being. Often forgotten or completely ignored in the moralistic, therapeutic deism found in so many churches in our culture, is the pervasive New Testament truth that we are saved in hope; a future and sure hope of the consummation of God's redemptive purpose. For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope, for who hopes for what he already sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, with I appreciate Dr. Larry Crabb's insights into the intersection of Scripture and his inner being. Often forgotten or completely ignored in the moralistic, therapeutic deism found in so many churches in our culture, is the pervasive New Testament truth that we are saved in hope; a future and sure hope of the consummation of God's redemptive purpose. For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope, for who hopes for what he already sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it (Rom 8:24-25 NASB) Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. . . . fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ (1 Pet 1:3-5, 13b). As Christians living in this fallen world now living in between the already (the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ) and the not yet (when we we see, know, and enjoy Jesus Christ to the fullest measure), we know only the "first fruits" of the Spirit and look forward to the complete satisfaction and fulfillment of beholding Christ and being glorified with Him. In the 'here and now' there is still a sense off unfulfilled longing that we can either attempt to fill by lesser and counterfeit satisfactions (overt sin or more acceptable relational sin - a sense of entitlement that we deserve and can demand our will be done) or we can recognize our deep desire that only Christ can fulfill, now in part and then in full. Knowing the surpassing value of Christ, we can resist temptation and kill sin in the flesh and begin to love and Jesus loved and loves. Waiting For Heaven: Freedom From The Incurable Addiction To Self addresses this conflict ("the fight of faith"), and it points us to loving as Jesus loves instead of expecting others to love us.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Bianca Ricardo

    This book is really changed me in a positive way!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Melissa Cheresnick

  6. 4 out of 5

    Kecia

  7. 4 out of 5

    Shirley Redd

  8. 4 out of 5

    Chandrabrown80 Brown

  9. 5 out of 5

    James

  10. 5 out of 5

    Miki Harmon

  11. 5 out of 5

    Brian S.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Joel Newswanger

  13. 4 out of 5

    Steven Beardsley

  14. 5 out of 5

    Larry Crabb

  15. 5 out of 5

    Kierkegaard's Pancakes

  16. 5 out of 5

    Felipe

  17. 4 out of 5

    Rachel Brewer

  18. 5 out of 5

    Eliceli Bonan

  19. 4 out of 5

    Mindee Berkman

  20. 5 out of 5

    Mara

  21. 5 out of 5

    pamela mcdonald

  22. 4 out of 5

    Frederick Rotzien

  23. 4 out of 5

    Sam

  24. 5 out of 5

    Kye Cantey

  25. 5 out of 5

    Lydia Wallace

  26. 4 out of 5

    Brenda Maki

  27. 5 out of 5

    Lauren Peterson

  28. 5 out of 5

    Karen

  29. 5 out of 5

    Christine Eckstein

  30. 4 out of 5

    Hil

  31. 4 out of 5

    Steff

  32. 4 out of 5

    Deborah Gerhart

  33. 4 out of 5

    Alex Helm

  34. 4 out of 5

    Kim Ellis

  35. 5 out of 5

    Deborah

  36. 4 out of 5

    Lady Goodman

  37. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

  38. 4 out of 5

    Linda

  39. 5 out of 5

    Virginia

  40. 5 out of 5

    Melissa ahmed

  41. 5 out of 5

    Nancy Adams

  42. 5 out of 5

    Micielle

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