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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



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

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