John Ortberg’s The Me I Want To Be has a title that’s more deceptive than most. The book challenges the reader to become the best version of him or herself. Do not be deceived though. This book is not a rehash of self-help and prosperity gospel literature. Rather, Ortberg challenges the reader to become the person that God wants them to be, not the person that they want to be.
I had an opportunity to read The Me I Want To Be as part of my reading for the Leadership Summit course that I’m taking at Sioux Falls Seminary this summer. I read the book based on the recommendation of a friend and was not disappointed.
This book is broken down into several sections. The first section explains to the reader who God has made them to be, incorporating aspects of the theology of creation, spiritual giftings and the strengths and weaknesses that God gives to each person. A helpful part of this section is the understanding that the viewing the spiritual disciplines as a “should” is the wrong way of connecting with God. Ortberg challenge the reader to practice spiritual disciplines in such a way that he or she actually wants to do them. The author also offers helpful suggestions in practicing the disciplines and encourages readers to practice spiritual disciplines in such a way that lines up with their natural giftings.
The second major section of the book relates to the renewing of the mind and putting God’s priorities first. He encourages readers to not get held back by the sins they are most susceptible to, to pray for wisdom and discernment, to develop healthy and life-giving relationships with others and most importantly, to fully trust God.
In the final section of the book, Ortberg tells readers to ask God for challenge the size of a mountain. He challenges the reader to work in the area of his or her God-given strengths, to fully honor God in work and allow God to be intimately involved with the work that one has been called to do.
This book is a refreshing reminder of the promise in Ephesians 2: “We are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God has prepared in advance for us to do.” Everyone has a unique calling and a unique purpose. Each person has been gifted to accomplish the their God-provided purposes. God has done his part and The Me I Want To Be is a helpful reminder that we need to do our part to be the “me that God wants us to be.”