Be Bolder Growin’ Older: Overcoming the Temptations of Old Age by Bruce Leiter
“This book is a trip toward believers’ [in Christ Jesus] final destination, with 24 steps along the way through ten chapters describing how we can progress from our old [sinful habits] to God’s new qualities that He wants to increase in us.”
From the beginning of the book, Be Bolder Growin’ Older by Bruce Leiter, the author’s straight forward writing style informs the reader exactly what to expect. He introduces ten temptations that often beset persons who are growing older. He has drawn his ideas from an internet article written by Keith Drury, from whom he obtained permission to expand upon in this book. Each of his ten chapters feature one of those problems into which he developed a Bible study.
Mr. Leiter uses a simple format for his book: an introduction of the concept and its consequences, steps for overcoming the problem, and hope we can grasp onto to visualize the new behavior or attributes that will replace the old. In the interim, he adds his personal thoughts and experiences, a touch of humor and insight, and Biblical stories as illustrations. Some chapters are divided into segments. Each segment has its own set of discussion questions. “One Step On Our Journey With Jesus” follows each segment where the author offers practical advice to put the principles into action.
The chapter topics:
- From Self-Centeredness to God-Centeredness
- From Feelings of Worthlessness to Feelings of Worth
- From Selfish Use of Money to Generosity
- From Giving up on Life to Giving in to God
- From Feeling Abandoned to Feeling God’s Powerful Presence
- From Bitterness to Permanent Peace About Life
- From Despair to Integrity
- From Doubt to Confidence in the God of the Bible
- From Losing Our Faith to Growing in our Faith
- From Morbid Fixation on Death to Hopeful Assurance About Life After Death
Overall, this is a subject I have never seen addressed in a book or a sermon before, but considering the Baby Boomer surge into retirement age, it is a topic that needs to be dealt with. I’m delighted to see a Bible study developed for this particular issue.
Chapter Five is one that caught my attention–Feelings of Abandonment. In today’s culture, family life has disintegrated to the point where many family members, especially the elderly members, find themselves alone physically and emotionally. The author reminds us of two things we can do to reduce the feelings of aloneness and abandonment. First we must realize that God has promised to be with us all the time. We can be alone but not feel lonely. Mr. Leiter has laid out a plan to follow, step by step, to aid us in bringing our straying feelings under control and replace them with Biblical assurances. Second, our aloneness often directs us toward self-centeredness which intensifies our feelings of abandonment. It becomes a vicious circle. To remedy that, the author suggests we look outward, find others who are feeling lonely and reach out to them.
The author is candidly open about his own experiences of grief, sorrow, and self-centeredness which eventually turned to depression. He draws on this painful part of his past openly and honestly to share with his readers how he put to practice the principles outlined in this study. I have been through some similar trials myself so that this book rings true to me. I believe that when someone follows through with this devotional and acts on the steps laid out here, they can prevent much of the heartache to come as they approach their senior years.
Besides creating an effective devotional, the author writes from his heart from his own experiences, engaging his readers with wit and good humor. I highly recommend this book for small groups or individual study alike.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary review copy of this book from Book Crash on behalf of the author. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
“Encourage each other daily”