I finished The Me I Want to Be by John Ortberg last week, a sprawling almost encyclopedic book about allowing the Holy Spirit to make you into your best self. Ortberg describes the ideal life as one that’s “in the flow,” drawing from John 7:38, “Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.”
It’s a good book. A book you should read. It’s not ground-breaking or even all that exciting. It’s the stuff we know but we forget and we need to be reminded of. It’s obvious and practical. And refreshing.
I loved the chapter on work in which Ortberg totally disagrees with the idea that no one, on their deathbed, says they wish they’d spent more time at work. He contends work should be an outlet for the “flow” of the Spirit, that we should be the “me God wants me to be” in our work, realizing our fullest potential as we live out our calling. He argues that work is as legitimate a passion as family or “church.” I’ve never heard anyone say that, and he said it convincingly.
Here are a few other gems from the book:
"Spiritual growth doesn’t mean a life of doing what I should do instead of what I want to do. It means coming to want to do what I should do."
"Other people don’t create your spirit; they reveal your spirit."
"God’s plan is not just for us to be saved by grace—its for us to live by grace."
"I can only be loved to the extent that I’m known… People who give life to us are people who notice us."
Also, I’m loving this Hemingway quote he included:
"Sooner or later, the world breaks everyone, and those who are broken are strongest in the broken places."
Because this book is a little scattered, I struggled to stick with it. But I realized as I went that the breadth of information covered actually allowed for a far more powerful impression. Ortberg, by the end, convinces you that your whole life needs to change and that the Holy Spirit will take care of it if you’ll let Him.
**Side note: The choose-your-own-cover-color option is super-witty.