The premise behind minister and Christian writer Max Lucado’s Cure for the Common Life is that all people have what he calls a “sweet spot,” a unique service for God that they were created to fulfill. More particularly, Lucado defines this spot as the point at which an individual’s personal strengths and successes converge with glorifying God and everyday life.
In the first section of the book, “Use Your Uniqueness,” Lucado sets about helping readers understand that each of us was crafted by a master designer who prepackages his designs, wiring us in a particular way so that we can fulfill our individual purpose. Introducing a concept he calls “unpacking our bags,” Lucado encourages us to examine our own skills and predispositions and those moments when we knew we were performing well (when, he explains, we were in “the zone”) to discover exactly how it is that each of us is packed. Lucado attacks the common secular concept that we can be anything we want to be and replaces it with a Scripture-based mandate to first seek the maker so that we can then learn who it is we were uniquely crafted to be. Unpacking our bags is important spiritual work, Lucado asserts, because strengths and interests visible in even our youngest childhood memories suggest to us who we were designed to be. One boy’s proclivity with model airplanes, for example, and another boy’s love of art point to God-designed penchants for particular fields of interest.
Incorporating Scripture, exegesis, and everyday examples, the first section of Cure ultimately underscores the value of all work. The point is not, according to Lucado, to do what the secular world defines as valuable work but to discover our irrepressible passions to pursue what God intended for us to pursue. Despite secular claims to the contrary, the pursuit of financial gain...
(The entire section is 763 words.)