Using her own life experiences and involvement with Sunday school courses, Hearns explores biblical lessons ranging from obedience and respect to peer pressure and love.
In Hearns’ debut, devotionals meet self-help, and biblical events complement her rich personal story. Each chapter highlights a biblical figure who made a spiritually informed choice; often, that figure is a patriarch making an unsavory decision. This method helps flesh out the notion that, when it comes to morality, success or failure happens at the critical moment of choice. Thus, Solomon, though counted among the Bible’s wisest heroes, appears to be disobedient, while Paul, though he once persecuted Christians, later exemplifies obedience. Hearns contends that each decision carries its own potential rewards and consequences, so it behooves readers to consider how a decision might either enrich or harm their lives. As such, the core of her book becomes a simple question: “[W]ill God be proud of [my] decision…or…ashamed?” In Hearns’ view, a biblically informed inner voice could become the threshing floor on which “good” choices are weeded out from “bad” ones. An individual’s conscience, rather than an arbitrary list of do’s and don’ts, becomes the moral center, which should resonate with teens wary of merely being told what to do. The book’s introspective exercises may strike a chord with adult readers, too. Hearns maintains a refreshing theological balance in this project, though the book does occasionally toe a conservative religious line. For example, her admonishments against extramarital sex may prove a tough sell to some readers; she acknowledges as much, but she’s nonetheless insistent. Hearns fiercely denounces judgment of others, noting its alienating effects; instead, she encourages unwavering love for neighbors as part of a spiritual outlook that should have cross-denominational appeal.
Thoughtful, well-informed and sure to inspire.