Monday, January 12, 2009

The 4:8 Principle by Tommy Newberry

A fundamental reason why so many people are living far beneath their potential for joy is that there is... no substantive difference between their current self-image and the vision they have for their future. This shouldn't be the case! As God's child, the future he has planned for you is a definite wow! (Newberry, The 4:8 Principle)
The 4:8 Principle is a self-help book based on Philippians 4:8 which says "whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things."

Well, who doesn't like a good book on ways to have more joy and simple ways to think positive. The book is full of lists and questions to help you apply the information immediately.

Here are some quotes I liked:
"The truth is that these peak moments, when you appear to be playing over your head, are actually glimpses of your full potential."

"To act with joy now, live each hour as if your full potential has already materialized."

"We dilute our potential by thinking first one thing, then another - thinking of God's grace, then feeling guilty about our faults; thinking of God's awesome power, then talking about how we cannot seem to get rid of a little bug. We think about abundance and then seconds later worry over the bills."
I also appreciated his perspective of "exceptional gratitude" in chapter 9.
"Exceptional gratitude refers to acts of thankfulness unprompted by someone else's tragedy, pain, or misfortune. Exceptional gratitude doesn't require something to be missing before it's appreciated."
If you are a list lover like me, here's my list of Newberry's lists!
Forty Junk-Producing Thoughts (pp 22-24)
Forty Joy-Producing Thoughts (pp 25-27)
The 4:8 Questions (p 33)
Anti-4:8 Questions (p 35)
Self-care factors to consider (p 72)
Emotional menus to help clarify your goals (pp 87-88)
Additional verses to help raise your state of mind (pp 94-96)
Thinking patterns of RATs (really awful thoughts) (pp 107-109)
Questions to help tune into the big picture and away from negative emotions (p 114)
Questions to start your day (p 141)
Questions to determine which people to invite into your inner circle (p 152)
Examples and Questions to create ground rules for what you allow into your heart (pp 166-167)
Questions to evaluate how grateful you are (pp 171-172)
Forty ways to express your gratitude now (pp 185-188)
The Afterword contains questions which can be used for small group discussion; guidance and space to create your personal 4:8 Questions and Joy-Promoting Thoughts; and suggested memory verses.

I recommend this book for seasoned believers - especially those who mentor newer believers. Even though scripture is used substantially both implicitly and explicitly, I comfortably recommend this book to non-Christians seeking to adjust their attitude. My only hesitation in recommendation is to new believers who are learning to depend on God rather than their own strength for life-change. The reliance on God is implied throughout the book but a reader could easily get caught up in the self-help tone.

Parents will also benefit from this book. I've already started using some of these concepts to redirect thought patterns in my two children. We're making progress.

No comments:

the mission:
PROCLAIM the good news; HEAL the sick and oppressed; BRING JUSTICE
~ Luke 4:16-20

Anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing (John 14:12)
~ Jesus 

Copyright 2005-2010 Lisa Biggs Crum
Email for reprint permission