Living for What Really Matters: 7 Weeks in the Book of Philippians – Teresa Swanstrom Anderson

Living for What Really Matters Teresa Swanstrom Anderson
Living for What Really Matters: 7 Weeks in the Book of Philippians by Teresa Swanstrom Anderson
Published by NavPress on July 21, 2020
Genres: Non-Fiction, Christian Life, Devotional, Theology
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The Get Wisdom Bible Studies help women connect with Scripture in an accessible and energizing way. Teresa Swanstrom Anderson guides with a winsome style that is rich in depth, but still approachable for newer readers of the Bible.

What Are You Hustling For?We glorify busyness. We hustle, hoping to gain approval and find acceptance. Yet for most of us, we simply hustle our way to burnout. But what if it's only pointless hustle that leads to burnout? What if meaningful struggle can lead us to growth and depth and even joy?
The apostle Paul understood hustle--and struggle--better than most. But in prison, where we'd expect him to be burned out and depressed, he wrote a letter to his Philippian friends seeking to build them up, a letter filled with thankfulness, generosity, and joy.

Focused on Jesus rather than concentrating on his own discomfort, Paul's actions brilliantly display what happens when hardship is used for the glory of God.
We might feel that life is trying to bury us . . . but what we forget is that we're a seed. Philippians will show us how we can grow deep roots and blossom by finding the meaning in our struggle.

In Living for What Really Matters, Teresa Swanstrom Anderson guides women through Philippians, drawing on both Scripture and external sources to provide spiritual, social, and political context for Paul’s writing. She provides guidance on how to use commentaries, cross-references with other parts of the Bible, and includes assignments to look up Greek words to understand key concepts from Philippians in their original language. Anderson keeps this book accessible to both new and experienced Bible-readers, and does a great job combining in-depth study with chatty personal stories.

I greatly enjoyed this study’s emphasis on the history and social context of the early church. Most of the information that Anderson covered was familiar to me, but since so few studies delve into the cultural background and life situations of Biblical authors and their audiences, I greatly appreciated the historical sidebars. Teresa Swanstrom Anderson helps readers understand what the text meant to its original hearers while also applying it to modern situations and concerns, and my only complaint is that she overused The Message. This paraphrase has a very loose and modern take on Scriptural text, and even though I know that other people find it helpful, I found it distracting and preferred it when she based her analysis on traditional translations.

Living for What Really Matters: 7 Weeks in the Book of Philippians is a very achievable study, despite its in-depth focus on language and history. I often lag behind in Bible studies, but I completed this in just three weeks, and was often able to do two or three days in one sitting. Because Anderson focuses on the essentials and does not fill pages with busy-work, this Bible study is a great option for individuals and groups who are looking for an in-depth, meaningful study that does not require an excessive daily commitment.