Lefebvre (The Heart’s Mind, 2018) attempts to guide readers to spiritual maturity through a series of familiar steps.
Lefebvre recalls a time when he was simply a fan of God rather than a follower: “I had salvation through Christ but he wasn’t the Lord of my life.” That all changed after a life-altering event (though he fails to detail what that was), and now he seeks to help others achieve a similar transformation. His advice isn’t specific or organized enough to be deemed a “program,” as he calls it, but it still follows an outline with easy-to-remember topics. Using an image of a compass to direct readers to spiritual wellness, his counsel is to read God’s word, pray, listen for God’s voice, and obey his will. Love occupies the compass’s center because it’s central to Christian living. These principles are certainly not novel in Christian literature, but they are still vital, and Lefebvre effectively emphasizes the idea of them building on one another: “If you read but don’t pray then you will not receive what you need? If you do not listen then how will you be instrumental in God’s plan?” While expounding on the material, the author toggles between his own thoughts and block-quoted Bible verses in a disjointed way, unlike other Christian commentaries that fluidly weave them together. His writing also seems to meander, and it’s not clear what the takeaways are for each section. Lefebvre somewhat makes up for these shortcomings with an excellent second half of the book, which presents a 52-week “spiritual devotional challenge” to encourage reflection and application. These challenges are consistently formatted with a title, inspirational poem/prayer, thought-provoking message, clear invitation to act, relevant scriptural passage, and blank space for a response. Throughout, the author’s enthusiasm and devotion energize the text. With greater editorial finesse—both to fix numerous mechanical errors and optimize its flow—the book has potential.
Earnest but substandard—a directional book that could use more direction.