The Bad Habits of Jesus by Leonard Sweet {A Review}

If you’re like most people I know and have talked to about this book, the title scares you. It probably conjures up thoughts like, “But MY Jesus didn’t have any bad habits! He was God!” And you are right.

Leonard Sweet is in full agreement with your statement, but in this delightful book he encourages us to look at Jesus in a different way. He wants us to take off the Sunday School glasses we tend to wear when we view Jesus and read the Word.

He points out that Jesus did things and said things that we would not dare say or do today because it is considered bad.  A few examples:

Jesus spit.  Think about that. He spit and made mud. If that wasn’t bad enough, He then smeared that mud on a man’s eyes.

Jesus procrastinated. His procrastination led to a man’s death, and He was completely unbothered and unapologetic about it. He simply kept on being God.

I loved this book. I have been reading Leonard Sweet’s books since “A Cup of Coffee at the Soul Cafe” was published in the late 90’s. When I see a book with his name on it, I gravitate towards it like a moth to a flame because I know I will be challenged by it.

This book, The Bad Habits of Jesus, did that. It challenged me to look at Jesus and what He did in a whole new way. I was encouraged to think outside of the box, or even to throw away the box, when looking at Jesus and the familiar stories. In a world full of fluff books that preach to the Millennial “me first” gospel, this book was refreshing in it’s simplicity but also in it’s meat. This is not a milk-toast, watered down gospel book. This book will require the brain to be fully engaged. Leonard Sweet does not offer milk, but steak and he doesn’t feed you.

I love the cover. I’m a Harley-loving woman and the resemblance to the Harley-Davidson logo on the front is eye-catching.

I received a free copy of the book from the publisher. All opinions are my own.


Real Church

Fifteen years ago or so, I was in a Christian bookstore in a small town outside of St. Louis, Missouri when my eye was caught by the title of a book, written by an author I hadn’t heard of before. The book title was “A Cup of Coffee at the Soul Cafe”. The author was Leonard Sweet. I read that book in a devouring sort of way. I quoted it. I loved it. That book still ranks near the top of my all-time favorite non-fiction book list. I will probably never get rid of my copy and will probably often peruse its pages, still gleaning truths.

I have since read several of Leonard Sweet’s books. Soul Salsa, The Gospel According to Starbucks, Nudge and now Real Church in a Social Network World.  Mr. Sweet has become one of those authors that when I see his books I automatically think I have to read it. I love the way he challenges my thinking, urging me to action and not complacency.

Real Church in a Social Network World, from Facebook to Face-to-Face is both soul-satisfying and soul-challenging.  Often as my eyes read the words on the page, my soul shouted “YES!” or “Exactly!” or even “Wow!”  I highlighted many paragraphs, too many to even share some of them here.

I found this book to be one of the best books I have read in a long time. That isn’t to say every other book I’ve called “the best” has paled in comparison, not at all. This book though is good because it will be a book I will find myself reading over and over again.

What I love about the book:

  • It challenges me to a better, deeper relationship with Jesus.
  • It constantly points to Jesus
  • It offers no “one-size fits all” approach to relationship
  • It values relationship.
  • It showed me areas I was settling in my walk and challenged me.

This book often moved me to tears. I cried tears of joy because I was doing something right! I also cried tears of great sorrow because I wondered how much I had hurt the heart of my Savior, because on some issues I had really missed the boat.

The book isn’t long. Six chapters and less than 100 pages. I read it last evening and I realized anew that I should never start a good book after supper. I had to stay up late to finish it. And like any good book, I cried at the end, not because it moved me but because it was over.

What the book lacks in length, it more than makes up for in depth. If you are looking for a book that will revolutionize your spiritual life, one that “will spur you on to love and good deeds” look no further than this one.


(I received a free copy of this book for the purpose of review.)