In these never-before-published stories, sayings, and biblical teachings, the beloved author and translator of The Message Bible shows us how the wisdom of deep faith helps us live well.

“Calming, encouraging, and profound.”—Matt Chandler, lead pastor of The Village Church

“Jesus’ words bring us the news of an expanded world, a bright world, a full-dimensioned world, a world in which God rules, mercy is common experience, and love is the daily working agenda.”
Eugene H. Peterson (1932–2018) was one of the most beloved authors, pastors, poets, and professors of our time. While millions have read his bestselling paraphrased Bible translation, The Message, far fewer have heard his direct practical insights and wisdom about how to live well.

Eugene knew the extraordinary spirituality of ordinary life. He understood that we actually become more, not less, human as we grow to live like Jesus. And living like Jesus means living well.

On Living Well collects some of Eugene’s best never-before-published short writings to help you walk in the way of Jesus with a little more courage, passion, and hope—by offering new ways to practice generosity, community, prayer, simplicity, worship, inner peace, and so much more . . . even with the challenges of today.

This book is a rich feast for the soul, ideal as a daily spiritual touchpoint or simply to nourish a heart hungry for pastoral wisdom. It is your invitation to enter into the meaningful simplicity of life with Jesus in a world of immense beauty, real difficulty, and endless wonder.
“Among the many gifts of human language, the greatest is the use of words for the worship of God, who is the Word. On these pages, over and over, Peterson’s words raise our sense of God’s sheer worthiness out of the clutter of confusion and complication. The simplicity and strength of language in On Living Well is seldom found but should be greatly treasured. These words are pure acts of worship that will bring the reader into beautiful worship of the source of all beauty.”—Karen Swallow Prior, research professor of English, as well as Christianity and Culture, at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and author of On Reading Well

“Wisdom literature in the biblical tradition helps us discern the good life as God intends it. Here we have a collection of Eugene Peterson’s pastoral wisdom, reflections on the Scriptures, and meditations on the life and way of Jesus. These words carry the tenderness of Peterson’s voice and the keenness of his insight. Here is fertilizer for our formation and flourishing in the Jesus kind of life.”—Rev. Glenn Packiam, associate senior pastor of New Life Church and author of Blessed Broken Given

“We don’t hear the word sage much anymore because there are so few sages these days. But Eugene Peterson was one of deep wisdom. In an age awash in banal how-to books, On Living Well is something else entirely—something we need. On Living Well is a series of meditations on what constitutes the good life, written by a man who indeed knew how to live well. This book brims with the wisdom our day needs.”—Brian Zahnd, pastor of Word of Life Church and author of When Everything’s on Fire

“Eugene insisted that the crux of Christian spirituality was to get all these God-truths lived, to get them moving into the street. God’s wisdom, Eugene knew, is always relational, always drawing us into the questions, complications, dangers, and joys of genuine life pursued before God and alongside one another. This is why the context of much that we read here—pastoral words written to Eugene’s small congregation—matters so much. These pages are not pious abstractions but personal words to friends, inviting all of us to embrace God’s enchanting invitation to truly live.”—Winn Collier, director of the Eugene Peterson Center for Christian Imagination at Western Theological Seminary and author of Love Big, Be Well and A Burning in My Bones