Since I have read a few of Mark Batterson's other books, I looked forward to reading his newest, Soul Print: Discovering Your Divine Destiny. I was happy he described it as not another self-help book and that "self-help is nothing more than idolatry dressed up in a rented tuxedo." (page 2) Yet certain parts still seemed a bit like that to me.
Personally, this is an area that I struggle with. Identity in Christ, being content in who I am, forgiving myself for past mistakes, etc, so this book wasn't an easy read for me. I know we're all unique and made in the Image of God, but I often find myself asking why God made some folks "better" than myself.
On page 3 in the introduction Mr. Batterson writes,
"I'm not sure where you're at in your journey of self-discovery. Maybe you're on the front end, trying to figure out who you are. Maybe you're on the back end, trying to remember who you were meant to be. Or maybe you're somewhere in between, trying to close the gap between who you are and who you want to be. No matter where you are, I want you to experience the joy of discovering who you are and the freedom of discovering who you're not. It won't be easy. ANd there are no shortcuts. But if you are breathing, God hasn't given up on you yet. So don't give up on yourself. Let this promise soak into your spirit, because it will energize your reading: it's never too late to be who you might have been." Page 3.
He then goes on to write about self-discovery and how hard yet rewarding it is, and admonishes us to be more like ourselves. I guess that is the fun part... discovering what the true self is, and of course, refining it and becoming better at it. He also uses several stories from Scripture, such as David, Samuel and others.
The part that hit me the most was the chapter called "The Crags of the Wild Goats." I oftentimes am bogged down in regret and his words at the end of this chapter were interesting to hear:
"Most of us spend our lives trying to prove ourselves to people, when all we have to do is prove ourselves to God. That is the key to your integrity and the key to your destiny. You don't have to prove yourself to people, because God is your almighty advocate. And if you live with integrity, then God will not only prove Himself to you; He will also prove you to others. The greatest freedom is realizing that you don't have to prove anything to anyone except God Himself. And that revelation is what made David a man after God's own heart.
Maybe it's time to quit taking the credit so you can quit taking the blame. Maybe it's time to quit proving yourself to epople and start proving yourself to God. Maybe it's time to quit building monuments to self and start building alters to God." (page 89)
There is much to this book to like, and much to wrestle with if you have doubts like I do. It is a very encouraging book and I enjoyed reading it.
Note: Per the FTC Guidelines, I am disclosing that I received a free copy of this book from the publisher.