Score: 92/100 (9.2 out of 10)
“Black Butterfly” is a solid self-help book about the power of positive thinking and actualization. It is heavily influenced by both “The Secret” by Rhonda Byrne and Christianity, making it sorta a version of the Bryne book with a Christian lens/angle.
On one hand, this book inspired us. Its message is something worth hearing, and it can be helpful for many people. On the other hand, there are times this seems and sounds like another wealth and prosperity book. While there are many unscrupulous wealth and prosperity preachers and advocates out there, we really don't feel that Vincent falls into that category. For one, Vincent has little to gain from what she's advocating beside some book sales. She's not trying to get you to sign up for some pyramid scheme or to tithe 10% of your earnings to her particular church/organization, but she is encouraging you to be willing to give in order to receive.
There's a beautiful quote from this that reads: “...a closed hand can't receive, and a closed heart can't give.”
But what does she mean by giving? Again, she isn't asking the reader for money or telling her to give to her organization, she is encouraging them to be more charitable and to support God's work in that way as a form of service and as a show of gratitude.
One thing we loved about this book is its focus on gratitude: being thankful for all your blessings, even the ones you haven't received yet. This is something we've tried to incorporate into our own lives, thanking God for health, food, shelter, and our loved ones. The truth of the matter is: you can never be too grateful. Another truth is: we could be more grateful. In our own lives, we've often forgotten or neglected to thank God for these things. It's something that gets lost in the shuffle, and it really shouldn't. Gratitude should be a part of your everyday life. When you are content and happy with what you have, and hopeful and optimistic about what's coming, life is just better. That's objectively true. When you're miserable and always thinking that the grass is greener on the other side, then it's always going to be greener on the other side. That's also objectively true.
Something interesting is this idea that Vincent proposes about thanking God for blessings you want and have yet to receive. For example, if you want a baby, she recommends thanking God for the baby you're getting and to go out and buy baby clothes. If you want to get married, she recommends shopping for a wedding dress already. Thoughts become things. They become your reality. How you respond to this concept will really determine how you respond to this book—whether you'll love it or dislike it. We personally feel that you need balance. God is the king of the universe, he's not a cash cow, and he constantly warns us that wealth is corruptible. You can't serve God and Mammon. Jesus himself seemed to have lived as a simple carpenter for most of his life. John the Baptist was what we might consider “homeless” and ate insects to stay alive. Bad things happened to many of the saints/apostles. The point of the Bible is not to become rich and powerful by following God, it's that despite the slings and arrows that the carnal, physical, materialistic world throws at you, God is still God, and he's still in control. The soul and spirit are more important than things like wealth and material possession, hence Jesus' analogy of the “riches in heaven” versus the moth-eaten riches on earth.
At the same time, we've experienced God's blessings first-hand. And first-hand, we've seen that when we've asked for something, God has answered in some way, shape, or form. Just... be careful what you ask for.
And can we just tell you, Carla A. Vincent: Thank you for your service to this country.
That's right, Vincent isn't just some hillbilly from out of nowhere who wrote a cockeyed-optimistic self-help book. Vincent is a hero and veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom, otherwise known as the war in Afghanistan. She fought for this country and experienced many pains and traumas as a result of it. So, when she shares these ideas and techniques with us, they come from a place of experience. These are actually the things that have gotten her through tough times.
All in all, this is a good self-help book with a positive, uplifting, hopeful message.
Check it out!