"Highly worthwhile reading for religious youth looking for direction in planning their lives."– Kirkus Reviews
A guide offers advice to Christians entering the adult world.
This latest book from Green (Successful Skills for High School, College, and Career, 2017) builds on his earlier work, which delivered systematic counsel for ethical advancement in the academic and business world. Here the author provides a version of those methods geared for Christians and buttressed by quotes and references from Scripture. The central philosophical gist is one of knowledgeable initiative: “You should take personal responsibility for your actions, regardless of the circumstances.” Green stresses that although Scripture makes it plain that God wants a relationship with the faithful, that bond is not a blank check. “Remember,” he writes, “that God is not a spiritual Santa Claus who merely gives you anything you want.” Rather, Christians should rely on God to help them control the anger and vindictiveness that might interfere with their own quest for self-knowledge and their ability to maintain good judgment in a conflict. In this context, the importance of good Christian fellowship is likewise emphasized: “Strong Christian faith is a non-negotiable characteristic of people in your inner circle”—a stricture that may be difficult to follow in the more culturally diverse business and academic atmosphere of the 21st century. The author asserts that “friends who are motivated and working toward goals are good role models and can encourage and inspire you to achieve your goals.” Much of Green’s advice to his readers is simple to the point of being collective common sense: focus on your audience, be a great listener, try to manage conflicts without rancor. Young people in particular should benefit from the lucid, forceful way most of these suggestions are phrased. The added precepts aimed specifically at Christians are comparatively minimal. Green, for instance, stresses that “successful people commit to lifelong learning,” but here the education takes the form of regular Gospel study. While Christians will find all of these tips encouraging, even non-Christians would benefit from quite a few of the reminders in these pages about respecting other people and acting professionally.
A clear, practical, and well-written blueprint for Christians to get the most out of schools and careers.
A well-executed self-help book for Christian teens.
Green provides a guide for young people which, if not unique, is certainly capable of holding its own and providing value in both the self-help and Christian-lifestyle markets. The author explores the idea of reaching for success in life by developing leadership abilities and what he terms “soft skills”: “a collection of abilities, behaviors, and attitudes that increase your effectiveness.” In both cases, he calls for youth to strive for success against a Christian backdrop. He notes early on that receiving salvation and exploring God’s plan for one’s life are definitive keys to a life well-lived. He then moves on to the “3Rs”; in this case, they are “Readiness,” “Relationships,” and “Results.” These three fundamentals create the framework for the rest of Green’s book. “Readiness,” for instance, includes being positive and keeping things in proper context; “Results” include problem-solving and accountability, among other points. There are several strengths to Green’s approach; perhaps chief among them is his skill at outlining points succinctly and visually. A diagram at the start of each chapter maps out for readers what subjects are being discussed and how they relate to the “3Rs.” Green also uses bold typefaces and other visual tools to focus readers on important points. Secondly, the author uses stories effectively as learning tools. For example, he relates a situation in which he was at a law enforcement shooting range and thought he was doing well until he was told he was firing at the wrong target—an effective allegory for unconsciously pursuing the wrong goals in life. Third, Green brings lessons back to readers with easy but effective exercises, such as simply making a list of “your true values.” Christian parents will appreciate the author’s consistent use of quotes from Scripture and basic, faith-based advice (such as, “Pray to God and ask Him to reveal His values for you”) over the course of the book.
Highly worthwhile reading for religious youth looking for direction in planning their lives.