Friday, August 12, 2011

Book Review: Becoming a Woman of Beauty and Strength by Elizabeth George

This is a great little 25 lesson study/devotional through the Old Testament book of Esther. It’s very manageable to do one a day, and because I had quite a bit of time when I was reading this book, I often did two a day. It goes bit by bit through the 10 chapters of Esther, and George focuses primarily on lessons that can be drawn out of the text relating to the characteristics of a godly woman. A woman of true beauty and strength, in fact. Which is easy enough to do, as Esther was pretty much oozing with godly beauty and strength.

Even though the word "God" never appears in the book of Esther, it is an incredible story of God’s faithfulness, sovereignty, and the goodness of His plans and timing. It’s one of my favorite books in the Bible, and each time I read it I am in awe of how God works all things (even bad things) together for good for his people. There are also plenty of figures in the book with which to contrast Esther’s character, making her beauty shine all the more. I learned a lot more about this gem of an Old Testament book, and I took away many practical applications. It’s a simple yet to-the-point study that is great for a daily study. I took plenty of notes, but here are some of the top tidbits George highlighted from Esther’s character that in particular are areas in which I would like to grow:

1)    Seeking only to be recognized as a person who knows God, not for worldly accomplishments.
2)    Being patient and joyful in waiting, knowing that God has a plan and is in control.
3)    Faithfully submitting to and serving those placed in authority over me, whether or not I’m recognized for it.
4)    Choosing to give kind responses to those who try to aggravate me.
5)    Not letting emotions dictate my timing and delivery of what I say to people (in essence- be calm in all situations).
6)    Being more alert for “tiny miracles” and looking for God’s providence in my life and thanking Him for it.

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