Every now and then, I’ll come across a book that hits me right where I need to be hit. Such is Stephen Altrogge’s new book, The Greener Grass Conspiracy which, as can be deduced from the title, is about contentment.
Altrogge points out virtually everyone’s complicity in this conspiracy of thinking that “the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.” While he doesn’t necessarily present anything new and earth shattering, the down-to-earth perspective and humor he uses shone the light on my discontentment. In one chapter, Altrogge points out the lies we believe in that fuel our discontentment, lies such as “God is withholding from me” or “God owes me” or “If I get it, I’ll be happy.”
Instead of constantly berating his readers for not having perfect contentment, he points the way to Godly contentment by showcasing the glories of the gospel. He encourages the reader to focus on the blessings we have been given (such as life, health and/or food), but even with this his emphasis is to continually point to the cross. That is not to say that Altrogge encourages a Pollyanna-ish attitude of just being glad no matter what our circumstances. In Chapter 11, he specifically addresses those who are going through “the furnace of suffering.” In this chapter, he says “I don’t want to give you pat, trite answers. I don’t want to tell you just to trust in God and everything will be okay…I want to connect you to the only person who can carry you through and give you contentment in the midst of suffering. I want to connect you to Jesus.” (pp.119-120)
Although it’s a relatively short book, this book to me is one that I need to read again, not only to be reminded of my lack of contentment in Christ but also to encourage me to do something about it. The Greener Grass Conspiracy is a huge help in prying off the tinfoil hats of discontentment.
Many thanks to Crossway for providing a review copy of this book. (5/5 stars)