12 Rules for Life – Book Review

I read another self help book – so help me! That is 2 for this year! I will not read another again! Most likely. This one is by Jordan Peterson. Like all self-help books, it has a lot of really good ideas and I will share with you some of the ones I can remember from the top of my head in just a moment. But first I want to say that all of these kinds of books are just things these authors have unintentionally and sometimes intentionally borrowed from Scripture. And that which isn’t borrowed from Scripture is self-exalting and places a huge burden on your own volition and will instead of drawing strength from an outside, eternal, non-crazy source, like GOD!

In regards to the book, Jordan Peterson does do a good job in pointing out obvious things adults should be doing. Like cleaning after themselves, taking their pills, owning their mistakes. He also has a good section on handling suffering and anxiety,  Although, Mr. Peterson does make a good case for believing in God or acting as if there is a god to those who don’t believe, he is not a good theologian. He draws upon the words of Scripture as one would draw from Aesop’s moral stories. He quotes many good practices from many religions and makes a case for getting our morality from a “higher” source. This is what most frustrated me from the book. Why is a Buddhist or a Muslim moral or even an atheist? It is because there is a benefit to that morality – less pain, better spiritual standing with your deity, better quality of life, etc. So when he includes Christianity as a good thing because of the benefits or less consequences or more peace etc, he destroys the Gospel and the true meaning of being a Christian. Yes, we strive for obedience, but not because it is beneficial (although, we will take those crumbs!) but because we have Him already! We have assurance and a hope that transcends this life, so we live like it! Its an overflow of our reality, not a behavioral checklist to get something or win approval.

These are somethings I remember from this book:
1. If you are going to be anxious (i.e. sin), set an allotted time to be anxious and to worry. Yes, you wont gain anything, but make a list during that time of what you can do. Worry for that allotted time and then stop worrying. This prevents you from worrying at night before going to bed and losing sleep because you have already worried during the day. (I’m not a big worrier, but this sounded reasonable)

2. Take your darn pills. Although, he uses the other word, I really liked this. I struggle taking my medicine. For no reason. I just don’t take them. I forget and doing that can cause havoc in my body. In his book, he just plainly states to take them. Americans are the worst in taking their medicine and there is absolutely no reason not to. So whenever I get the thought that I will just take my medicine later, I can hear Mr. Peterson’s words clear, “just take your da*n pills!”. So I do. Simple right?

3. Before you try and clean up the mess of others, clean your own room! In all senses! A good quote, very Biblical.

4. Men and women are different. Women love strong men and men like pretty women. In other words, men should not be afraid to toughen up, to explore and stop whining. And women, should not be afraid to be homemakers, take care of themselves and be sweet.

5. Have one foot in “order” and another in “chaos”. Do not be a complete organizational dictator and also leave room for spontaneity and adventure. The balance of these two is what makes life fun.

6. If you don’t like your children sometimes, others don’t either. Guide your kids to be likeable, it is not fair to them to allow them to act like monsters. Other people will hate them because of their behavior and it is your fault for letting them get away with it. Not acting like a monster will help them make friends and will win praise from adults. This will make them feel awesome about themselves

There were other things in there that were good, but these are just what I could remember at this moment. I think I am going to not recommend this book though because it is just another self-help book and as Christians, there are so many other sources to help in our walk.

If you are needing help in any area of your life, I do want to recommend Rick Thomas’ website.  He has a limitless collection of great articles to help you in any area in your life. All of which are Christ-centered and Gospel-soaked!

 

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