Second Chances by Max Lucado is the latest compilation of stories from one of the great modern Christian story-tellers. Max this time ties all of his stories together under the theme that “God gives second chances”. He breaks that down into stories of the rebellious, regret-riddled, prideful, mistake-makers, those with a faltering faith, and those who have hurt us.
The first story is familiar to those who know the New Testament – the parable of the Prodigal Son, but told from the perspective of the son. He tells the story of someone who suddenly realizes how far he’s fallen and decides that it’s time to stop making excuses and pretending that he’s better off than he really is. That is followed by the story of a mother seeking her daughter who had run away to the big city. Another similar story tells of a father desperately reaching out to his daughter who had run away with a boy. In each story, the person who left home had to overcome their pride and accept the love freely offered to them back home.
Those who have regrets are addressed next – missed opportunities, squandered dreams, or drowning in sin. Max weaves stories of how there are second chances offered to everyone who looks for them and accepts God’s offer of forgiveness and love. One story tells of people carrying around sacks of rubbish that represents their sins. The only way to get rid of them is to let someone else who doesn’t have any rubbish take it from them.
We read stories of Paul, Jonah, Peter, Moses, and many other prominent figures in the Bible. Each is told in Max’s style. Of course, that means that Max takes some creative liberties with the stories. They’re all based on the Bible or themes that we see in the Bible, though few should be taken as exact translations.
My take: If you’ve read Max Lucado before and enjoyed his works, you’ll like this one. If you aren’t familiar with his writings, this is a good representation of his work and a great read. For those struggling with forgiveness, the stories in Second Chances will be helpful. I really liked the stories and readings. They make for quick reads, but give you quite a bit to think about.
Disclaimer: I was given a preview copy of this book with no expectations on the part of the publisher. The opinions expressed are my own and were not influenced by anyone else.