Saturday, July 17, 2010

Review - Get a Life

Get a Life! Sometimes it's an insult, sometimes it's great advice. In this case, it's a book by Reggie McNeal - "Get a Life! It IS all about you." McNeal is an excellent writer, author of other powerful books such as The Present Future and Missional Renaissance. The goal of this book is to help you take a close look at yourself, to move beyond wishful thinking about your life into living a life of greater focus and meaning.

Clearly from the title of the book there is a strong self-help aspect to the book, and yet it is also a book about finding a much deeper relationship with God as you search for clues about how He designed you and what purposes He had in mind in crafting who you are. The book really centers around the following five questions that frame reflection on our lives:

1. Why am I here?
2. What is really important to me?
3. What is my scorecard?
4. What am I good at?
5. What do I need to learn?

Each question is the topic of a chapter, which talks about why the question is important and how you can arrive at solid answers. In addition there are a number of supporting questions raised in each chapter which would be very useful in a small group, or to write out the answers yourself. For example in the chapter 'What am I good at?' one series of questions include:
What do I do that causes me great pleasure?
When do I feel the smile of God?
What do I do that, when I do it, I say, "This is what I was born to do!"?
What talent(s) am I using in this activity?
What am I willing to order my life around so that I can do more of it?
McNeal really does a good job at asking these important questions without the book simply promoting self-actualization or narcissism. Reggie concludes with "You are a unique creation, a one-of-a-kind, a limited edition of one. God made you to show something about Himself to the world. To the extent you become fully you the world is made more complete."

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