Review: “How God Makes Men” by Patrick Morley

Few men have good mentors. And none are as good as those Patrick Morley offers us in his latest book, How God Makes Men (WaterBrook Multnomah, 2013).

How God Makes Men by Patrick Morley


Morley is the author of more than twenty books and the bestselling author of Man in the Mirror, which sold over three million copies (two of them to me). His writings and his personal counsel have mentored and encouraged me over the years. And now he offers another installment sure to encourage you as well.

In his latest book, available tomorrow—November 5th—Morley brings us ten men whose lives and life lessons can indelibly shape our own. Drawing on ten giants of the Bible from Abraham and Moses to David, Paul and others, he presents a composite of principles of how God shapes a man. (While his writing is aimed squarely at the heart of men and the challenges they face, women will find many of these principles equally applicable to them as well.)

“There is a God we want, and there is a God who is. They are not the same God. The turning point of our lives is when we stop seeking the God we want and start seeking the God who is.” Morley deftly examines how each of these ten men resisted God in an area that eventually became their signature strength once they surrendered to the God who is.

The life lessons Morley presents in How God Makes Men can mentor you in your own journey. But only if you’re intentional about it. Like any counsel, it can be heard, even agreed with, but left unapplied. To that end, Morley offers reflection and discussion questions at the end of each chapter as well as an approach for using the book in a men’s study group. These should not be skipped.

But personally, if you’re serious about seeking the God who is, I think you should go further. This book should be read slowly. Not because it’s difficult to read—in fact, it’s superbly written—but because it’s important to read. This is one of those times you’ll want to think slowly.

One way to do that is to prepare your own questions for reflection on a chapter. Here’s my list for Chapter 4, for instance, on the life of Gideon, a man transformed from weakness to courageous strength:

  • What fears are most likely to affect my decision making right now?
  • How are they keeping me from trusting God’s lead and what step of obedience should I take?
  • Am I contemplating an action to pad my own comfort rather than trusting in God guidance?
  • What failures have I had, even recently, that God might want to use to help others even now?
  • In what ways am I reluctant to allow that to happen?

These are not exactly “soup questions”—to borrow a phrase from Finding Forrester. They can’t be adequately answered in a hurry. So, over the course of the next few months, I’ll be journaling on those and others that I crafted from reading How God Makes Men. While I’ve read much about these men over the years, and even taught Bible studies on their lives, I’m going to use Morley’s excellent book as a blueprint to reflect on their life lessons again so that I stop seeking the God I want and better seek the God who is.

Whose life lessons have had the most impact on making you who you are today?

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