Friday, November 1, 2013

Book Review

The Me I Want To Be : Becoming God's Best Version of You - John Ortberg - c2010 Zondervan
Reviewed by Diane Busch
I'm a long-time fan of John Ortberg's books. They are easy to read and understand while giving great insight and inspiration.
Right off the bat in chapter one, John says, “There is a me I want to be.  Life is not about any particular achievement or experience.  The most important task of your life is not what you do, but who you become.”  “Your life is not your project.  Your life is God’s project.”  When we are inspired we are connected to the Spirit of God which makes us flourish--making us fully alive with a purpose for living.  You are never too young to flourish. “When you flourish, you become more you...God wants to redeem you, not exchange you.”  
These quotes alone should make you want to grab the book and start reading today.  John asks, “What could you want more than to become the person God created you to be?”  
Saint Irenaeus wrote, “The glory of God is a human being fully alive; and to be alive consists of beholding God.”  John adds, “When my primary focus is being present with [God], everything else has a way of falling into place.”
“God’s plan is for you to become the best version of you, but right now there are two versions of you.  There is the you God made you to be--and there is the you that currently exists.  What do you do with the gap?”   “We cannot bridge this gap by our efforts or good behavior.  We cannot earn God’s love and forgiveness; it comes only by God’s grace.”
“The only way to become the person God made you to be is to live with the Spirit of God flowing through you like a river of living water.”  “God’s plan is not just for us to be saved by grace--it is for us to live by grace.”
John starts out chapter five with “There is a God.  It is not you.  This is the beginning of wisdom.”  Now that’s a quote we should pass it on to our children and grandchildren.
“Have I invited Jesus along for the ride, or is he driving?  Who is behind the wheel?...There is no way for a human being to come to God that does not involve surrender...Surrender is not the same thing as passivity.”  “Jesus does not come to rearrange the outside of our life the way we want.  He comes to rearrange the inside of our life the way God wants.”  “For deeper change, I need a greater power than simply “trying harder” can provide.”  “A river of living water is available, but the river is the Spirit, not you.”
John also states that there is also a “me I don’t want to be”.  The follow verses can help us with that.
  • Romans 12:2 NLT - Let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.
  • Colossians 3:2 - Set your mind on things above, not on earthly things.
  • Romans 8:5 - Those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.
  • Philippians 4:7-9 - Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things.
John says, “We need to have a very clear picture of what kind of person we want to become, and why.”  “When we know ourselves and each other, when we walk in love, we are free to be called to the best version of ourselves--God’s hand-signed version of ourselves.”
“When you discover your strengths, you are learning an indispensable part of what it means to be made in the image of God.”  Dorothy Sayers said, “Work is not, primarily, a thing one does to live, but the thing one lives to do.”  “...Research shows that the best moments of our lives … come when we are totally immersed in a significant task that is challenging, yet matches up well to our highest abilities.”
“When we discover the gifts God has given us and the passions that engage us, and we put them to work in the service of values we deeply believe in--in conscious dependence on God--then we are working in the Spirit.  Then our work is helping each of us to created the me I want to be.”
“If you have courage to make changes in your life, something can happen in your soul.  The Spirit will bring the courage.”  “In prayer--in the presence of God--we come closest to being fully ourselves.”
Obviously I recommend this book.  I’ll end with a question for reflection that John asks near the end of the book:  “If you were to choose a logo for your life, what would it be?”
DVD curriculum for small group study is also available for this book.

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