Mud, Sweat, and Tears by Bear Grylls (book review)

English: Bear Grylls in front of an Alaska Air...

I am not ashamed to admit it. I have a new hero. His name is Bear Grylls.

I bought my wife a kindle fire for Christmas and we have been enjoying watching previously inaccessible cable shows for a month with the free trial of Amazon Prime. We don’t have or want cable or Netflix, so this was a real treat and when I found Man vs. Wild I was so excited! I’d seen the show a few times before when on the off-chance I caught an episode on Discovery channel.

I envy most everything about him. His freedom, his love and passion for adventure and the outdoors. He is truly an inspiration.

After getting a Bear Grylls survival knife for Christmas from my wife (awesome gift from my sweetie), I checked out his facebook page and watched a video he posted that moved me:

I was so thrilled to find that he was a Christian! I thought he might have some sort of faith because he, without fail, did a symbol of the cross before jumping out of an airplane or a helicopter. Ant then in one episode he talked about his faith, family, and friends and was shown praying before climbing into his bamboo hammock.

Then I discovered that his autobiography was at the library entitled, “Mud, Sweat, and Tears”. I finished it in a single day and loved chapter 25 where Bear talks about how he found his Christian faith. Simple. Real. Profound. He writes about how at the heart of the Christian faith it is simple. Here are a few quotes:

“To me , my Christian faith is all about being held, comforted, forgiven, strengthened and loved-yet somehow that message gets lost on most of us…” “It seems more like this Jesus came to destroy religion and bring life… Christ comes to make us free , to bring us life in all it’s fullness. He is there to forgive us where we have messed up (and who hasn’t?), and to be the backbone in our being.”  – Bear Grylls (pg 91 Mud Sweat and Tears)

He shares how during difficult times and the greatest tests in his life (such as his SAS Selection and Mount Everest Climb) that he would quote Scriptures to himself like this one from Isaiah 41:13:

“For I hold you by your right hand—
I, the Lord your God.
And I say to you,
‘Don’t be afraid. I am here to help you.”

He continues:

“We all have our limits. To push beyond those limits sometimes requires something just beyond ourselves. That is what my faith has given me – a secret strength and help when I have needed it most.” (pg 204)

After breaking his back in three places after a parachuting accident, he writes:

“But out of that despair, fear, and struggle came a silver lining… What I did know was that I needed something to give me back my hope. My sparkle. My life. I found that something in my Christian faith, in my family, and also in my dreams of adventure.

My Christian faith says that I have nothing to ever to fear or worry about. All is well.

At that time, in and out of hospital, it reminded me that, despite the pain and despair, I was held and loved and blessed – my life was secure though Jesus Christ.

That gift of grace has been so powerful to me ever since.” (pg.245)

He often shares one of his favorite verses that fits his life and love for adventure around the globe so well:

“Be sure of this, that I am with you always, even unto the ends of the earth.” Matthew 28:20

In this book Bear talks about his growing up years, his fun and crazy antics throughout school, his SAS selection, his climb of Everest and a little about his filming for Man vs. Wild. I would definitely recommend this book. It’s worth owning, would make a great gift and is a truly inspiring read.

Has Bear Grylls influenced you and who is your hero and why? Leave a comment.

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Categories: faith adventure | 3 Comments

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3 thoughts on “Mud, Sweat, and Tears by Bear Grylls (book review)

  1. S Joe

    I love Man vs Wild and thus Bear Grylls. It is so nice to see he has a strong Christian faith. His faith is so simple and yet so profound. Thanks for sharing this.. made my day!

  2. Ann

    Big fan too, for the same reasons! It’s great to see a celebrity who’s not afraid to ‘preach’ it.
    I love his autobiography. You should also get his newest book ‘A survival guide for life’! He included some faith stuff too. For example, in chapter 16 he writes:

    “Fears and worries – about things that are long passed, or that may never materialize in our future – all weigh us down and slow us up. So where you can, drop the worries.
    Jesus talked a lot about this, and this was a guy who had some serious reasons to worry. After all, he was about to be tortured to death on a cross, bearing the pain and burden of every bad deed and thought ever done by mankind. Now that is a proper-sized weight to carry!

    But yet he still said: ‘Cast your burdens on to me, for I care for you.’ That verse is a good thing to remember, and it has helped me so many times to overcome some pretty big worries.

    Even if you find it hard to believe for yourself, and even if you haven’t quite figured out all the theological details, just try it for the heck of it!
    What do you have to lose, apart from a little pride? (And pride is never a great thing to have too much of anyway.)

    So just claim Christ’s promise over your concerns. Close your eyes and pass them upstairs to Him. He has developed an awesome habit over the last few thousand years of answering simple, honest, heart-led prayers. Pass them up, then let them go.”

    In Chapter 25 he talks about his 5 F’s: Family, Friends, Faith, Fun, Follow your dreams. Explaining: “Faith matters. Jesus Christ has been the most incredible anchor and secret strength in my life – and it is so important to have a good guide through every jungle. (Go and do an Alpha Course to explore the notion of what faith is and isn’t: http://www.alpha.org.)”

    Did you know that he is heavily involved with Alpha, just look up his promo video for them on Youtube.

    And just another article which he wrote for 24/7 Prayer: http://www.24-7prayer.com/features/1753
    Very strong message.

    Thanks for your book review and God bless!

  3. senseofsolivagant

    I am more interested in the man than the adventure. I’ve always been spiritual and as a martial artist I have searched for the inner, as well as the outer physical. I like how he simplifies the faith to its core but is so profound to him. You can sense he has this inner strength and quiet, yet strong self confidence. I couldn’t put the book down.

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