Book review: #struggles by Craig Groeschel
#struggles is the latest book by Craig Groeschel, pastor of LifeChurch.tv and author of a number of other books dealing with issues faced by followers of Christ in the world today. The book is a candid and critical look at the way in which the use of social media has impacted and controlled the lives of many people and offers advice on how that can be reversed so that people control it rather than the other way around.
For me personally, this was a very timely book. I have been using a variety of social media platforms for a number of years, but I recently acquired my first smart phone, after having used a very basic flip phone for the past 10 years or so. I used to scoff at the way that people allowed their phones to seemingly control their lives, but have discovered in the past month or so how easily the urge to continually check the phone or use an app on it can take a hold of you.
What I like most about this book is that it is more practical than preachy. Groeschel doesn’t condemn social media and, in fact, points out how it can be used for the good. However, he does point out the many pitfalls and dangers of over-use of social media and some of the ways that it can take over or cause harm to one’s life. I also like the fact that much of the advice he gives is basic common sense and very practical. Having said that, I also appreciated the way in which he backed up much of what he said with Scriptural reference.
The book is set out in eight straight-forward chapters, each dealing with a different aspect of life in connection with the usage of social media, beginning with contentment through to rest, with intimacy, authenticity, compassion, integrity, encouragement, and worship covered in between. In the conclusion, Groeschel shows how one can keep technology in its place, showing how a person should control it rather than the other way around. There are also a couple of very helpful appendices – one being ‘The Ten Commandments of Using Social Media to Grow Your Faith and Share God’s Love’, the other being a helpful section on safeguards that can be put in place if you find that social media is taking you or your family to places you rather would not go.
Overall, I found #struggles to be a fairly helpful guide to a Christian approach to social media. It would probably be a good book to use for a small group setting and could be a good gift for a teen or young adult to help them as they navigate through life and the ever-increasing part of it that is lived online. It’s not a difficult read, is well-written, and could be a very useful tool to have on one’s bookshelf.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”