The Good and Beautiful Life

Putting on the Character of Christ

by James Bryan Smith

I have nev­er met a per­son whose goal was to ruin his or her life. We all want to be hap­py, and we want it all of the time.”

So begins James Bryan Smith in The Good and Beau­ti­ful Life. The prob­lem is, he tells us, we have bought into false notions of hap­pi­ness and suc­cess. These self-cen­tered deci­sions lead us fur­ther into the vices that cause ruin: anger, lust, lying, wor­ry, and judg­ing. Even­tu­al­ly we find our­selves liv­ing a beau­ti­ful­ly pack­aged life of self-destruc­tion. Fol­low­ing the Ser­mon on the Mount, this fol­low-up to The Good and Beau­ti­ful God guides us to look behind these char­ac­ter flaws and to replace our false beliefs with Jesus’s nar­ra­tives about life in the king­dom of God.

The book includes:

  • ques­tions for indi­vid­ual reflec­tion and pro­cess­ing embed­ded in the text
  • con­tent for small group dis­cus­sion at the end of each chapter
  • a descrip­tion of a sug­gest­ed com­pan­ion spir­i­tu­al prac­tice for each chapter
  • twelve weeks of mate­r­i­al for small groups plus an intro­duc­to­ry week

The Good and Beau­ti­ful Life is part of The Appren­tice Series. For addi­tion­al resources, includ­ing a Lead­er’s Guide for this book, please vis­it www​.appren​tice​of​je​sus​.org.



Jim Smith is the most artic­u­late, accu­rate and help­ful writer of spir­i­tu­al for­ma­tion of my gen­er­a­tion. I give this series my high­est recommendation
Todd D. Hunter, author of Giving Church Another Chance

About the Author