Book Review: Christ-Shaped Character: Choosing Love, Faith and Hope

In Christ-Shaped Character: Choosing Love, Faith and Hope, Helen Cepero begins with her story. And story is what this book is about. It is seeing the activity of God in our own story. It is about experiencing the presence of Christ in very real, tangible ways. We can take our life’s journey and follow Christ. As Cepero states, “The journey follows along the way of love, faith and hope.”

Each aspect of “faith, love and hope” is explored in some detail. She invites the reader to see the hand of Christ in the joys and troubles of our own journey. Our identity is not formed by doctrine alone. It is by experience. We find our identity in our stories. As we listen to each other we find where Christ is moving.

Each chapter follows a story from her own life, then steps to practice in prayer and conversation, as well as thoughts for journaling. Each chapter also offers further reading on the particular topic.

There are no set formulas. There is no “road map.” It is simply learning to see how Jesus moves in faith, hope, and love through our lives and examining that through prayer, Scripture, and conversation with others.

We need to learn how to walk on a journey. We don’t get it right from the very start. She tells a marvelous story in Chapter One of the beginners band in school. They all have instruments and they can barely read music and it’s tough to listen to. But as the students progress in music, in another year they are learning to play together better. In another year they can come together in ways where improvisation is possible. We need to journey with Christ. We don’t always get it right, but we need to keep on the journey.

This is a refreshing book to pick up and enjoy.

I was given Christ-Shaped Character by Helen Cepero through IVP. It is from their Formatio series on spiritual disciplines and is a great addition to their offerings. I am under no obligation to give a positive review.

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