Margot Starbuck asks a lot of questions in Permission Granted – and doesn’t always give answers. Though she is convicted that she often fails to best display God’s love, she often doesn’t exactly know what the "right answer" looks like. So don’t read this book to give you answers to all of life’s hard questions. Rather, read this book to remember to ask yourself, What Would Jesus Do?

Because she tackles that question a lot. She is constantly turning to the gospels to see what Jesus did do. She doesn’t cite a lot of Paul; she’s not particularly speaking to codes of personal conduct or how churches are supposed to function internally. Rather, she speaks to the individual. She reminds us that we, as individuals, must bring it back to Christ. First and foremost we must represent him in our daily choices and attitudes. There was no "otherness" or fear in how Christ related to the world. This author yearns for a time when Christians will embrace and extend Christ’s love without hesitation, reservation, conditions, or exceptions.

"We long to be received," Starbuck explains. "We long to be accepted as we are, whether or not we bear gifts and whether or not we sanction child labor. Jesus was onto this when he instructed us to Matthew 22:39"

Remember how Christ received you into his open arms, despite your messed-up life? Margot Starbuck wants us to extend that same warm embrace to those around us, no matter their problems, political persuasions, religions, or attitudes.

Debbie Holloway is Assistant Editor for Family Content at Crosswalk. Recently married, she lives in Henrico, Virginia and is an avid writer, reader, and participant in local community theatre.

Publication date: March 12, 2013