By Elysa MacLellan
By Tom Davis
My husband and I just finished reading CONFESSIONS OF A GOOD CHRISTIAN GUY by Tom Davis. Tom is the president of CHILDREN’S HOPECHEST, a ministry to orphans primarily in Russia and Swaziland.
Underneath the title of the book’s cover are the words, “the secrets men keep and the grace that saves them.” Tom’s premise is that all men, even “good, Christian” ones, struggle with hard life issues.
Some of these issues are more subtle such as pride and discouragement. Others are downright destructive such as alcoholism and drug addiction.
Unfortunately, in the American church culture, honesty about struggles is not always encouraged. Too many men walk around wearing masks in fear that if anyone ever sees the “real” person behind the “good Christian” mask, that they will be rejected.
Tom challenges men, in part by telling his own not-so-good story, to come clean. To take off the masks, admit their need for change and help, and trust God to heal and grow them through His unfailing love, mercy, and grace.
Here’s an excerpt from the book:
We will always have areas of deadwood in our lives. We will always be called to rip away the falsely righteous facades that tempt us and to talk honestly about what’s truly happening in our lives. Sin flourishes whereever there are secrets. Hope, strength and an abundant life are found when grace is received and those secrets are torn away.
Hopefully our struggles dinimish as we grow to be more like Christ—our battles with sin become less frequent as we learn to live victoriously. But I don’t think we ever fully arrive at our destination, this side of heaven. That’s what grace is always about. We alwys need it. And it’s always available to us. That’s the message of this book. Grace is truly amazing. We need it like we need our next breath.
Tammy Maltby, author of CONFESSIONS OF A GOOD CHRISTIAN GIRL, has co-authored the book with Tom. Each chapter, dealing with a different sin issue or struggle, is followed by Tammy’s take on how people (such as wives or friends) can minister to the men in their lives whoare dealing with abuse, addiction to pornography, anger, etc. This aspect makes the book not just a book for men, but for the women in their lives as well.
As my husband Jim said, Tom’s book is well-written and very honest, sometimes painfully so. Sadly, my husband says that in his experience, most churches don’t seem to foster the kind of relationships that encourage total transparency, accountability, and recovery.
Perhaps CONFESSIONS will motivate many out there to make the changes needed to indeed develop safe, supportive environments within the church where these desperately needed male friendships can happen.
For as James 6:16 says:
Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.
Elysa her husband Jim are living out the adventure of raising and homeschooling seven kids on a small, hobby farm in the deep south. In January, she and her two oldest daughters traveled to Swaziland with Children’s HopeChest to learn more about the HIV/AIDS crisis and how their family could be involved in ministry. Until she gets the go-ahead from God to return, she and her family spend much of their time and energy advocating on behalf of Swazi children.