Book Review: Faith Positive in a Negative World

Faith Positive in a Negative World
Written by Dr. Joey Faucette and Mike Van Vranken

by Jessica Rinaudo, Editor

I should start this review by being up front with you. Mike Van Vranken is a columnist and long time supporter of the Catholic Connection and the Diocese of Shreveport. But, as the editor of this publication, I would not have reviewed his book if I didn’t think it was worth sharing.
Faith Positive in a Negative World is for Christian business professionals in any and all career paths. The focus of the book is not on your specific career, but on ways to change your own mindset and the influences around you to transform a negative working experience into a positive one based on biblical scripture and faith in God and Jesus Christ.

That may sound like a mighty undertaking, but Mike and his co-author Dr. Joey break this concept up into five core values that build on one another in each section. Transforming your mindset and surroundings from negative ones to positive ones is no easy task, and the book’s writers don’t pretend that it is. Over and over they emphasize that some of these steps will be difficult – retraining your mind, especially as an adult, takes constant vigilance and dedication.

From the beginning of the book, the authors present a concept one section at a time for making your work more “faith positive,” then follow up with concrete ways to make those changes, as well as with scripture that supports these ideals for what God wants for us in our own lives. They provide anecdotes from their own lives that are often funny and always entertaining as examples of how these principles have helped them personally.

Throughout each section of Faith Positive in a Negative World, the authors explain the different kinds of negativity we face in our careers. Sometimes that negativity comes from other people – their attitudes affect our attitude. Oftentimes that negativity comes from within ourselves through fear, self-doubt, our unwillingness to let go and collaborate with others and our inability to trust in God. Mike and Dr. Joey push for life changes that often go against societal norms like stepping away from controlling technology, refusing to participate in negative office gossip and avoiding multi-tasking all together. Instead, they urge us to focus first on prayer, to set our priorities and schedule everything else around them, and use tools they provide to deflect negative conversation and people.

This book emphasizes building up a community of “faith positive” people around you. And while that task may seem impossible at times, they ask you to trust in God. Mike and Dr. Joey also encourage you to stay in contact with them and others via various forms of social media with Faith Positive groups, pages and hashtags. It’s a great way, they say, to meet others who are trying to create their own faith positive lifestyles.

Each chapter of this book ends with a brief summary of their points in “grab and go” bites that can be easily bookmarked or copied down for later review.

I suggest taking this book one chapter at a time and really focusing on each value: both how you are currently doing in your career relative to that value and how you can better improve your life, the people around you and your faith by implementing them in your life.
There are many books out there about ways to positively transform your life and ways of thinking, some are even mentioned by name in this book, but what Faith Positive has that most do not is its strong anchor in scripture and faith. You can’t miss the scriptures that begin each section and chapter, or the overt use of parables and biblical stories to illustrate their points. They often use word-for-word quotes from the Bible to explain how to positively transform your life. This element of the book is what sets it above others in the genre, and what makes their core principles successful.

Faith Positive in a Negative World can be found in Slattery Library at the Catholic Center, as well as Amazon.com.

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