Book Review: Empty Promises by Pete Wilson

What is keeping you from feeling happy and fulfilled? If you have a bigger house, will you be happy? Perhaps more money or a better job puts your mind at ease? Maybe if the kids have straight A’s or excel in that baseball league, you will be successful. We all seem to have at least one elusive if/then “promise” of happiness. If we _______, then we ______. Pastor Pete Wilson takes a look at many of our reasons for conditional happiness in his book Empty Promises—and lets us know why we always fall short of our perfect world when we chase our never-ending if/then goals.

Summary of Empty Promises by Pete Wilson. In Empty Promises, Pete Wilson examines the elusive goals that drive many of us on our individual paths to happiness or fulfillment. He calls these ever-growing goals, empty promises, since working toward them and even achieving them still leave us feeling empty. Why do we always feel like something is still missing? Wilson’s Empty Promises offers volumes of stories of people, just like us—himself included, seeking fulfillment through materialistic or superficial items instead of seeking a meaningful relationship with God. Without that relationship with God, no matter what other successes we’ve realized, we always fall short of happiness.

Empty Promises hit home. I had a tough time writing the review for Empty Promises. Not because the book was a difficult read or because I disagreed with the premise posed by Wilson—but, because, I too, am guilty of putting my faith in empty promises. A bigger house.  A straighter smile.  A Master's degree. 

I'm always finding something that, IF it were different, WOULD make some massive change in my life or in the life of my family. 

In Empty Promises, Wilson addresses such desires honestly and readily admits his own promise chasing adventures. Wilson does not admonish readers for seeking happiness or being goal driven—he lets us know why many of us aren’t looking in the right place for success.

Final thoughts on Empty Promises. So many of us set ourselves up for disappointment when our goals fail to give us what we hoped. I think I set myself up for disappointment with this book because I hoped there would be some “path to happiness” laid out for reader. (If I read this book, and follow the directions, then….You get the picture, right? ) Empty Promises by Pete Wilson does not offer a quick cure for those of us stuck in an if/then life cycle—but, it helps us realize why chasing the wrong promises for the wrong reasons leave us feeling empty.

Wilson doesn’t tell us how to change—he just opens the door for us to entertain such change.

Empty Promises is certainly worth reading for those struggling to find ever-changing meaning and happiness—or those feeling like they have hit rock bottom when they’ve climbed to the top of the world.

For more information on Empty Promises and Pete Wilson:

Visit Pete Wilson’s Blog
Buy Empty Promises: The Truth About You, Your Desires, and the Lies You're Believing

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

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