Book Review: The Me I Want to Be

The person I get the most frustrated at is ME.  The person that lets me down the most is ME.  The person that most often gets in the way of who God created me to be is ME.  The person that hinders the move of the Holy Spirit most often is ME.  It’s all about ME…not really, but that is usually where my biggest hurts, habits, and hangups get started.  The ME focus causes me to miss out on God’s best for my life.

The Me I Want to Be by John Ortberg is an authentic and challenging look at the places we miss God at work in our lives and the lives of those around us.  I appreciate the abundance of Scripture used throughout this book and the way that Ortberg was so open in sharing his own experiences.  The story about taking the batteries out of the fire alarm the night before his house caught on fire makes the book worth every penny you paid for it!

God is working in my life in a lot of the areas that Ortberg covers in this book: renewing my time, redeeming my time, and deepening relationships.  I fully believe I read this book at just the right time for some of the things God is speaking to me about.  This book is a pretty quick read, but it definitely leaves you with a lot to think about and pray about as I seek to become the best version of who God created me to be.

Below I have pasted several things that I highlighted while reading…

  • 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.
  • Only God knows your full potential, and he is guiding you toward that best version of yourself all the time.
  • What could you want more than to become the person God created you to be?
  • The more concerned you are about your own fulfillment, the less fulfilled you will be. When your life is devoted to yourself, it is as small as a grain of wheat. When your life is given to God, however, it is as if that grain is planted in rich soil, growing into part of a much bigger project.
  • I asked a wise man, “How do you assess the well-being of your soul?” He immediately said, “I ask myself two questions”: Am I growing more easily discouraged these days? Am I growing more easily irritated these days?
  • If I want to become that person I want to be, I will have to come to grips with the counterfeits who elbow in to take his place — the rivals who can keep me from becoming the me I am meant to be.
  • If I am ever going to become the me I want to be, I have to start by being honest about the me I am.
  • Comparison kills spiritual growth.
  • Loving people means being willing to disappoint them sometimes. Jesus loved everyone, but that means at some point he disappointed everyone. Seeking to become the me that other people want me to be is a hollow way to live. Nobody else can tell you exactly how to change because nobody but God knows.
  • When you fail to become the person God designed, all the rest of us miss out on the gift you were made to give.
  • My main job is to remain connected to God. When my primary focus is being present with him, everything else has a way of falling into place. When my primary focus becomes anything else, my inner vitality suffers, and I become a lesser version of myself.
  • 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.
  • The Spirit never just flows in us; he always flows through us so that others might flourish as well.
  • For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so that we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. (Ephesians 2:10 NLT)
  • “Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.” (Matthew 10:39)
  • There is a God. It is not me.
  • I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. (Galatians 2:20)
  • The way we live will inevitably be a reflection of the way we think. True change always begins in our mind.
  • Let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. (Romans 12:2 NLT)
  • Yes, what you’re feeling is hurt, and part of that hurt is nothing more than wounded vanity. We can deal with that. I still love you with all your junk. Your well-being with me is not at risk. The man who wrote this may see a flaw in you, but nobody really thinks you’re perfect anyway, except your mother. It will actually be better for you not to have to pretend. Here’s a chance for you to grow. (This is Ortberg’s response to a critical letter he received…I definitely need this reminder!)
  • The Master is still playing, but listening is optional. Those who have ears to hear, let them hear.
  • Philosopher-educator John Dewey wrote, “Genuine ignorance is profitable, because it is likely to be accompanied by humility, curiosity, and open mindedness; whereas ability to repeat catch-phrases, cant terms, familiar propositions, gives the conceit of learning and coats the mind with varnish, waterproof to new ideas.”
  • Don’t debate minutiae. Just go practice.
  • Be doers of the word, and not merely hearers. (James 1:22 NRSV)
  • It is God’s presence — not comfortable circumstances — that brings people to the best version of themselves.
  • Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God — this is true worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. (Romans 12:1 – 2)
  • The goal of prayer is to live all of my life and speak all of my words in the joyful awareness of the presence of God.
  • Connectedness is not the same thing as knowing many people. People may have many contacts in many networks, but they may not have any friends.
  • A wise man once said that just as the three laws of real estate are “location, location, location,” the three laws of relationship are “observation, observation, observation.” People who give life to us are people who notice us.
  • Every moment is an opportunity to practice a gesture of love.
  • I can only be loved to the extent that I am known.
  • We were created to reflect God’s care and dominion to the earth, and we were made to express the worship and gratitude of creation up to God. This is what we do when we work.
  • Martin Luther once said, “What you do in your house is worth as much as if you did it up in heaven for our Lord God.”
  • We rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. (Romans 5:2 – 5 NIV)
  • Your deepest longing should be to be alive with God, to become the person God made you to be, and to be used to help God’s world flourish. That is the life available to you every moment. It is the life found in Jesus, the man on the cross, who mastered sin in his death and mastered death in a tomb and who now dispenses life with unrivaled authority. It is available to you in this very moment, no matter what your situation. God is at work in this hour, and his purpose is to shape you to be not only his servant, but his friend. Out of your belly shall flow rivers of living water. Blessed are you. Ask for a mountain.

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