Thursday, June 23, 2016

Dropping the masks...

Book info
About the book:

Hidden Agendas: Dropping the Masks that Keep Us Apart (New Growth Press, May 2016)

We like to pretend that hidden agendas are just for self-important bosses or egotistical politicians, but we all have them. Deep down, we all have a secret plan for getting from where we are to where we want to be, even if we refuse to admit it to ourselves.

And if our hidden agendas aren't enough, we wear masks to obscure the truth even more. We put on these masks---like religion, appearance, power, politics, or protection---to drive our agendas. But all of this leaves us feeling phony, ashamed, guilty, and afraid. It's killing us and hurting those we love. But for most of us, it will be a cold day in a hot place before we will be fully honest with anyone else.

There is so much more to life than hiding, pretending, and never being loved. In fact, there is already one person who sees behind the masks we wear and the hidden agendas that drive us. It does no good to tell God that you're sick when you're drunk, that you love him when you don't, or that you didn't steal and eat an apple (with apple juice dripping down your chin). God always recognizes and loves the "you" behind the mask.

So what can we do about the hidden agendas we have and the masks we wear? How can we gather the courage to be real? "Being real" has to start with your relationship with your heavenly Father. God already knows you inside and out. But God doesn't know you in order to "out" you to your friends. His unconditional love for his own is reason we can pray to our Father without fear of rejection or judgment. Knowing God's love, knowing that your heavenly Father is for you not against you is the only reason to give up your masks and develop the type of authentic relationships you never thought you could have.

Purchase a copy:
About the author:

Steve Brown is a radio broadcaster, author, and the founder of Key Life Network. A former pastor, he also sits on the board of Harvest USA and devotes much of his time to the radio broadcasts "Key Life" and "Steve Brown, Etc."

My Review:
"Hidden Agenda: (dropping the masks that keep us apart)," by Steve Brown is an eye-opener read that is so honest and so fresh that it will keep you turning the pages and leave you thinking about it long after you close the book.  In the very first chapter, Steve shares when he had an emotional breakdown and made some major changes in his life.  He states that he was alone in his office with no one to encourage, no one to impress, and no one to convince; this really stuck out to me and has stuck with me.  I thought about a typical day of mine and how much of that day I am hidden behind a mask because I feel like I have to encourage someone or convince them of something or impress them by how many things I can get done or how many things I can balance.  The important thing is how I feel behind these masks, how these masks are affecting me.  I really like the self-reflection questions at the end of the chapters and also the tips for small groups reading through this book together.  I think this would be an excellent choice for a small group to work through together, but it is also a great choice to read on your own as well.  I was constantly reminded throughout this book that God can see the real me behind my masks and also to make me mindful of my true agendas. 

To read other reviews included on this blog tour, go here!

*Thanks to the Litfuse Publicity Group for including me on this blog tour and for the complimentary copy of this book in exchange for a honest review."

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