Book Review: Eyes Wide Open

Eyes Wide Open: See and Live the Real You by Jud Wilhite

I was able to hear Jud Wilhite speak at the CatalystWest conference a couple months ago. He shared a talk that discussed “mirrors” and how we “see” ourselves. This is the context of his book, Eyes Wide Open.

It took me a little while and a bit of reading before I gained an appreciation for this book. I should qualify that last statement… The reason for my “slow” appreciation is meeyeswideopen and nothing related to the book. I started reading after coming from the likes of Surprised by Hope, N.T. Wright; Christ Plays in 10,000 Places and The Jesus Way, Eugene Peterson; and So Beautiful by Len Sweet. My bias toward “heady” discussions about theology was evident as I turned through and read the first few chapters of Eyes Wide Open. I recognized that I was reading with a critical attitude and stopped; I reassessed my motive and intent and it was then I realized my error. I was reading for me and I was not the intended audience for this book. Once I rejoined my reading, I began to really gain an appreciation for the work and the message that Jud has put into this little volume.

Jud approaches and teaches a number of points that are helpful for someone new to the faith. This is also relevant and applicable for the person who may have been mis-instructed about the character and nature of God too. The ease in which Jud writes about these issues is commendable. The chapters are short (all are less than ten pages) and written in a vernacular that is easy to understand. Most importantly, I think that Jud is successful in teaching truth in love…staying true to Scripture and not alienating the audience of readers.

I think this book would be helpful and could be recommended to most young believers (new to the faith), people curious about faith, and/or those who may have struggled in their connection and understanding of Jesus.

Summary:

judwilhiteI had it all backwards. The main thing was not my love for God, but his love for me. And from that love I respond to God as one deeply flawed, yet loved. I’m not looking to prove my worth. I’m not searching for acceptance. I’m living out of the worth God already declares I have. I’m embracing his view of me and in the process discovering the person he created me to be.

In Eyes Wide Open, Jud Wilhite invites you to discover the real you. Not the you who pretends to be perfect to satisfy everyone’s expectations. Not the you who always feels guilty before God. Not the you who secretly feels God forgives everyone else but only tolerates you. Not the you who looks in the mirror and sees a failure. The real you, loved and forgiven by God, living out of your identity in Christ.

A travel guide through real spirituality from one incomplete person to another, Eyes Wide Open is a book of stories about following God in the messes of life, about broken pasts and our lifelong need for grace. It is a book about seeing ourselves and God with new eyes-eyes wide open to a God of love

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