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The Life You’ve Always Wanted: Spiritual Disciplines for Ordinary People by John Ortberg Review

Title: The Life You’ve Always Wanted: Spiritual Disciplines for Ordinary People

Author: John Ortberg

First published January 1, 1997

272 pages, Hardcover

ISBN: 9780310246954 (ISBN10: 0310246954)

Rating: 4.03


The Life You’ve Always Wanted: Spiritual Disciplines for Ordinary People by John Ortberg is a guide to help you develop a more meaningful and fulfilling relationship with God. Ortberg emphasizes the importance of transformation, and how it is possible for every aspect of your daily life to be impacted by your spiritual growth.

This book provides a modern perspective on the ancient path of spiritual disciplines. However, it is not just a list of tasks to complete to become a good Christian.

Instead, it is a roadmap to true transformation that begins with Jesus Christ. Similar to a marathon runner, the key to finishing the race lies in consistent training, which is where the spiritual disciplines come in.

These exercises build strength and endurance for the journey of growth, and the fruit of the Spirit, such as joy, peace, and kindness, are the signposts along the way. Filled with humor and personal anecdotes, this book is both encouraging and challenging, offering an approach to living a Christian life that is truly worth living.

Editoral Review

The Life You’ve Always Wanted: Spiritual Disciplines for Ordinary People by John Ortberg is a self-help book that provides readers with practical guidance for integrating spiritual practices into their everyday lives. First published in 1997, the book has since become a classic in the genre, with its emphasis on simplicity and accessibility setting it apart from more esoteric spiritual texts.

Author John Ortberg is a pastor, speaker, and author who has written over 20 books on Christian spirituality. In The Life You’ve Always Wanted, Ortberg draws on his experience as a pastor to present spiritual disciplines as a means of fostering a deeper connection with God.

The book is written in a conversational and easy-to-read style, making it accessible to a wide range of readers. The central theme of the book is the idea that developing spiritual practices such as prayer, meditation, and the study of scripture can transform our lives, leading to greater peace, joy, and fulfillment.

Through a series of short and engaging chapters, Ortberg provides guidance on how to integrate these practices into our daily routines, offering practical tips and insights from his own experience. In terms of plot, The Life You’ve Always Wanted is not a traditional narrative, but rather a series of connected essays and reflections on spiritual disciplines.

The main “characters” of the book are the readers themselves, as Ortberg encourages them to take an active role in their own spiritual development. The setting is contemporary, with Ortberg drawing on real-life examples to illustrate his points.

While The Life You’ve Always Wanted has a clear Christian focus, it avoids dogma and instead emphasizes a personal and experiential approach to spirituality. Ortberg is careful to avoid preaching, instead offering a gentle and compassionate voice that encourages readers to explore their own spiritual paths.

There are several strengths to The Life You’ve Always Wanted. One is its accessibility, with Ortberg making complex spiritual concepts easy to understand and apply to our everyday lives.

Another is its emphasis on simplicity and practicality, with Ortberg offering concrete suggestions on how to integrate spiritual practices into even the busiest of schedules. However, the book does have some limitations.

Some readers may find Ortberg’s focus on Christian spirituality too narrow, while others may feel that the book lacks depth or a clear sense of structure. Overall, The Life You’ve Always Wanted is a well-written and engaging book that is sure to appeal to a wide range of readers looking to deepen their spiritual lives.

While it may not be for everyone, it offers a valuable perspective on the transformative power of spiritual disciplines. Washington Post recommends The Life You’ve Always Wanted with four stars for its simplicity and practicality in guiding readers through spiritual practices in their daily life.

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