Popular-level books on Christian living are not my favorite genre. Partially this is because I just prefer to read books on theology and biblical studies, and partially because a lot of what some of them have to say has been said better elsewhere by someone like C.S. Lewis. But I like John Ortberg a lot—maybe because we have a similar personality type (INFP, according to the Myers-Briggs temperament sorter). He is able to write straightforwardly about complex realities without over-simplifying, and he has a good sense of humor.
The idea behind this book is that each person is made by God in a certain way, and that it is our task to find out how to flourish given the way we are made. Different things make us grow, and different things give us life. We don’t find out what makes us grow and gives us life by imitating other people. For example, although prayer is something that all people need to flourish, different people flourish most by praying at different times, in different ways, and in different places.
The negative side of this is that each of has “signature sins,” ways of sinning that are connected to the ways we are gifted. Just as different things make each of us grow, different things keep each of us from growing and becoming the “me” we were meant to be. A temptation that one person finds very difficult to resist will be easy to resist for someone else. For example, people with great leadership abilities are tempted to use others.
This book contains a lot of good advice, and each copy contains an access code to a spiritual assessment tool at Monvee.com. I’d recommend it especially for young people who are just beginning to figure out how they have been wired, but older adults can benefit from it as well.