Befriend: Create Belonging in an Age of Judgment, Isolation, and Fear

Author: Scott Sauls
Publisher: Tyndale House
Genre: Christian
ISBN: 978-1-4964-0094-9
Pages: 240
Price: $15.99

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Those of us who attend church regularly might find we belong to a sort of clique. Without meaning to, we’ve surrounded ourselves with like-minded people and don’t really associate with those outside that inner circle. Befriend challenges us to look outside the circle and include the others we’ve unintentionally excluded.

In each chapter dedicated to a specific group of people, Scott Sauls presents challenges and opportunities in getting to know them. Some of these people include prodigals and pharisees, those grieving and dying, children, the other race, and people with disabilities and special needs. Sauls asks us to see them and reach out to them as Jesus would. Each chapter closes with a summary, Scripture verse, and a question to consider. A discussion guide is also available for book clubs and church groups.

Sauls reminds us that we live in a digital age, where we may have many so-called “friends” online, but only a handful of real friends we can call on when we need them. Befriend provides an insightful look at those we don’t normally associate with, and a timely reminder that we’re all God’s children. My only disappointment with this book was that I was expecting more of a “how to” develop closer friendships, while Sauls only touches on this concept in the context of reaching out to these specific groups.

Reviewer: Alice Berger