The me I want to be (by John Ortberg)

I've only been reading John Ortberg's books for a few years, but he's rapidly becoming one of my favourite modern Christian authors. He writes with flair, with feeling, and with gentle humour from time to time, mostly about his own quirks.

So I was looking forward to 'The me I want to be', subtitled 'Becoming God's best version of you'. I'd seen snippets from it on websites, and the blurb suggested it was powerful and encouraging.

I was not disappointed. This book is, in my view, Ortberg at his best. And that's very appropriate, since the theme of the book is that each of us needs to find a way of becoming the best 'me' - the one God created us to be. All too often we try to fit in with other people's ideas of who we should be, or perhaps emulate someone we admire. We might wish we were different, or had other skills. But, according to Ortberg (and he gives plenty of Scriptural and other backup to his writing) God made each of us unique individuals, with a pattern which we can follow to turn into the particular person God intends.

After an introduction, the book has sections on finding our identity, redeeming our time, transforming our experience, and others. Personal anecdotes enliven the text, as well as the odd unexpected aside that made me smile. It took me nearly four weeks to read it, because I only read a chapter or less each day. Not that it was particularly heavy, but there was a great deal to think about and I didn't want to rush through it.

I found this book encouraging, and very reassuring. My only minor criticism is the rather tatty looking diagrams here and there, that were a mixture of computer-generated and (apparently) badly hand-drawn. I don't mind fully hand-drawn diagrams or pictures, or fully computer-generated. These were a mixture, and very irritating, as were some rather badly drawn stars here and there, presumably to indicate an important section.

However, even the annoying diagrams did not detract from the excellence of the text and the message behind it. I'm sure I will return to this book many times in future. Highly recommended to any Christians, new or old, or anyone who would like to know more about God.

Review copyright Sue's Book Reviews, 9th June 2010

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