The Danger of Doing Good

The Danger of Doing Good - Parenting Like Hannah

The Spiritual Danger of Doing Good by Peter Greer and Anna Haggard

Part of being an effective parent is knowing how to be an effective leader. We normally don’t think of parenting that way, but when you analyze it, you are attempting to lead these little ones to follow God. As a result I am drawn as much or more to books on leadership than I am to books on parenting.

When I was asked to review Peter Greer‘s book, The Spiritual Danger of Doing Good I was intrigued. What angle would he take? Did he have some sort of axe to grind?

I ended up loving this book. Personally I believe it is a must read for everyone. Whether you are a leader, a parent, attempting to raise a child with strong leadership skills or “just” a follower of leaders, this book has information you need to know and thoroughly digest.

Mr. Greer is the President and CEO of Hope International, a widely respected charity. Although he refers to his organization from time to time, the book is actually his personal story of the mis-steps he has made in leadership. Even though he also shares the stories of others, one gets the sense Mr. Greer is using them to remind himself of the pitfalls of leadership as much as he is trying to educate us.

The book is set up to be read or for a small group to use in a study, with thought questions at the end of each chapter. He covers topics ranging from the temptation of short changing your family to justifying minor moral lapses and much more. Altogether, he explores fourteen potential pitfalls encountered by leaders.

He doesn’t leave you discouraged, but suggests ways to avoid these same traps. Perhaps the scariest part of the book is in the beginning when he quotes statistics finding that “only one out of three biblical leaders maintain a dynamic faith that enabled them to avoid abusing their power or doing something harmful to themselves or others.” Not surprising perhaps, but scary to know only one out of three “finish well” as Mr. Greer puts it.

How many parents would fall into those same statistics? How can we avoid not finishing well and how can we teach our children to not only live a godly life, but “finish well”? I encourage you to read and re-read this book. Have your older children and teens read it and discuss it together. You may even consider sharing it with the leaders in your congregation. It can’t hurt and it may actually help more than one person!

After you read it, let me know what you think. Which of the potential pitfalls do Christian parents fall for the most? What have you personally done to avoid some of these same pitfalls? I would love for you to share in a comment below.

This book was provided to me for free by Bethany House in exchange for my honest review. I am painfully honest and would share any concerns I have about the book. This is one of the most practical books about the pitfalls of leadership I have read. Some of his positive examples of specific people would not be mine, but everyone has their own personal experiences. It does nothing to deter from the message of the book, which is critically needed by many in leadership.

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Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. (Deuteronomy 11:18-19 NIV)