Enough about Me {a book review}

It's not a coincidence that I read the last chapter of Jen Oshman's book, Enough About Me, on the strangest Good Friday I've ever experienced. The entire country has been social distancing from one another for weeks now. We will experience the serious reflection of Christ's death on the cross and the celebration of His resurrection at home with our families instead of at lily-filled church buildings. It's not normal, but it shouldn't be a surprise for believers either.

Although we won't be meeting as church families this Easter weekend (thankfully not because of government persecution), we can still ponder the wonder of what this Christian life is all about. Perhaps the fact that we won't be wearing our best Easter outfits, packing our seats with extra guests, and attending multiple egg hunts, is a good thing. Maybe we are being reminded that our life of faith isn't really about us at all!

Early in her book, Jen says this about our tendency to set ourselves up as the gods of our lives and culture.....

"When we deify ourselves, we require reality to conform to our own destinies, rather than the other way around (conforming ourselves to reality). And whether we know it or not, this self-deification requires us to worship ourselves, to uphold ourselves, to convince ourselves that we are enough and worthy of following. When we become our own source of meaning, we also become our only source of satisfaction and fulfillment. We set ourselves in a cycle of defining ourselves and worshipping ourselves..........."

She continues by saying,
"Our only hope is to believe ourselves when we say we are enough. And we must eat a steady diet of the praise of others. How do you know you've arrived at being anything you want to be if you don't receive accolades for your achievements? A ho-hum life is not enough to know that you're at the pinnacle of your dreams. We've got to be out there, receiving the applause of the multitudes. But the appetite for approval is insatiable. And we're never quite sure we're on track. How many 'likes' on social media is enough to know that you've finally reached the stars?" p35-36

She continues in the next few chapters to pinpoint areas in which the constant call of Self drowns out the true call of God in our lives. We look to counterfeit replacements for the peace and joy offered to us through the gospel. As believers, we are not isolated from others, simply living out our own faith in our own way. We are called to a life lived in community with others filled with confession of our constant struggle to be conformed to our world's culture rather than the image of Christ.

While the entire book was encouraging and challenging, I was especially convicted by what I read on Good Friday afternoon while considering the sacrifice Christ made for me on the cross. Jen reminds us that the true call of the Christian is the same as Jesus' calling from His Father - to die. She says, "We are saved by his death, and sanctified in a million smaller deaths of our own as we follow him."

These were such sobering words to me during a season where I am frustrated that my favorite brands aren't available at the store, that my schedule is confused, and that my plans are being cancelled because of Covid-19. Ultimately, though, it's not about me, but about him. I can submit to the work that God is doing in the world, my church, my family, and my heart, knowing that it is in Him that I will find lasting joy.

As Jen says, "If our God turned his death into joy, then we can trust him to do the same with ours. For the joy set before us, we can carry our cross. Indeed, there's no other way to get lasting joy."

May these days of confusion and isolation drive me over and over to my need for a Rescuer, my calling to die to self, and my future reward of eternal joy with Jesus.

My heart echoes the title of this excellent book, Enough About Me!

*I received a digital copy of this book in exchange for an unbiased review.