The Bad Habits of Jesus: Showing Us the Way to Live Right in a World Gone Wrong by Leonard Sweet details habits uncovered by Sweet and crowd sourced by his colleagues that traditional society would find rude. Additionally, many of the habits would also have been found unacceptable by Jesus’ own contemporaries. Sweet provides context for Jesus’s bad habits including being late, not being specific, spending too much time with children, partying and just intentionally being rude to others. For each of these habits Sweet provides an explanation of the habit and the benefit that Jesus and his followers can gain from the habit.
Honestly, I have a mixed mind about this book. I totally understand how these bad habits can at times be good examples can provide good benefits. For example, being late can also be seen and described as slowing down instead of rushing, providing time to mediate and allowing one to better interact with creation. But there is an elephant in the room to me, which is for some people with the habit of being late they are simply rude. And being rude is not always a positive! Additionally, Sweet discusses Jesus being intentionally offensive to teach lessons and challenge the status quo. He himself provides examples where his digression led him to be offensive to others. But for me this explanation seems like permission for Christians to be purely offensive. I see plenty of postings on Facebook and other places, one which was beyond shocking I saw this week, where in the name of being truthful, Christians are simply being petty! Quick fact everyone, I changed my opinion due to Facebook said no one ever! So in the end, the book is really uneven to me; jumping between strong teaching to lessons that need further development and caveats which I believe Sweet could easily provide.
The Bad Habits of Jesus: Showing Us the Way to Live Right in a World Gone Wrong by Leonard Sweet is a book that those who enjoy Sweet’s numerous writings will likely want and enjoy. For me however, I would warn against generalizations, I am a historian. Being late can definitely be a sign of slowing down one’s lifestyle. Or it can just be a message to others, you do not matter. In the end, Jesus played all these situations perfectly…but he was God.
Review Copy Provided for Purposes of Review