And you know what? It was actually a good book!
Yep. A popular Christian paperback that I liked. And has good theology. And is practical. And is readable.
OK. Enough hype : ) You get that I liked it...
The name of the book is The Truest Thing about You, written by David Lomas and published by David C. Cook. That's right, the Sunday School people. Well, that's how I always thought of them anyway, but they've been doing some good non-Sunday School stuff in the last 10 years or so. When I worked at Eisenbrauns, one of the reps who called on me (Jerry Gortmaker—a great rep!) also represented them; we didn't carry their stuff—not academic enough—but he would periodically offer me an advance reading copy. One I remember especially is The Furious Longing of God by Brennan Manning.
Anyway, the thesis of the book is that there are many true things that can be said about you, but only one is truest—who you are in Christ. The whole book is an outworking of what that means and what it should look like in your life. Good stuff, and I'll be excerpting from it for the next few weeks or so. But, right now, I'm going to jump to the very end and throw in the last few paragraphs, because this is usually where books like this fall apart. Ready? Here we go:
At this point in the book you might expect application points. A “to-do list” of identity. Some journal questions. Five things you can do in the next five weeks to actualize your new identity.Isn't that great? No long (or short!) list of "things to do to make this real" or other such garbage! You get the idea that he actually believes what he's writing! Once you know who you already are in Christ, you will begin to live like it! In the words of Augustine, "Tolo! Lege!" (Pick it up and read it!)
But that’s not what this book is about. Unless you drive the single message of this book to the core of your being—beyond belief, to the place of your deepest trust—no application will stick.
So here it is.
You will not find your identity in what you have, but in who has you. You will not find your identity in what you do, but in what has been done for you. And you will not find your identity in what you desire, but in who has desired—at infinite cost to Himself—a relationship with you.
Christ is your life. He gives you a new identity and will work that new identity out in your life until the day when He appears. On that day you will finally see clearly, as Christ sees you now. You will know as you are known.
And you will understand that the truest thing about you—that in Christ God called you His beloved in whom He is well pleased—has been true all along.
And is now true forever.
Believe. Trust. Base your entire identity and worth on that fact.