I just started reading John Ortberg’s new book, “The Me I Want to Be”. I will be blogging more about this book soon, but I can tell you now three things about it:
(1) it will be an instant classic in the genre of spiritual formation;
(2) it is Ortberg’s best book — and that comes from someone who has been a big fan of all his books; and
(3) you must read this book!
The book is actually part of a broader project Ortberg is involved with called Monvee. Monvee.com is a website that is designed to help create personalized spiritual growth plans for followers of Jesus. It is something that individuals can use or entire churches can use together. All I have done so far is take the online assessment. I am going to sign up and see what the program looks like. I will let you know what I think.
Part of the online assessment is a section describing how you learn, what your spiritual pathway is, and what your personality type is. All of this is designed to figure out how you grow best spiritually. For example, it told me that I learn best from listening (true! it is why I love sermons so much!), my spiritual pathway is “activist” (also true) and my personality-type is similar to Jacob’s.
Here is their assessment… it kind of freaked me out a bit, because it is scarily on-point:
Now that you have finished the Monvee Discovery, we have learned enough about you to handcraft a spiritual formation plan designed specifically for the unique way God created you.
Enjoy, as you discover new insights about how we are uniquely wiredup. Monvee takes into account 34 unique personality characteristics when recommending practices, resources, relationships, and experiences.
Typically speaking, you are driven internally to succeed. Your definition of success probably comes from what you were taught to value, but in the end, you will strive to be a “somebody” in whatever way you define that. Therefore, you tend to be ambitious, industrious, confident, and energetic.
People see you as self confident as well as gracious. However, in quiet moments you can feel worthless and worried that you are “not making it.” You have a strong desire to feel rebounding and resiliency are part of the fabric of your character.
The Other Side of You
Pleasing people can be exhausting and, at times, confusing to your sense of who you are. It can be easy to manicure your image of strength even though the truth is anything but that. Try to stay aware of your tendency toward self-centeredness and “caring for” others in a way that brings you reward. It’s true that what makes a leader great is his/her ability to believe they are right, but what makes a dictator is someone who believes they are never wrong. Be open to constructive criticism and to new ideas. Work hard to be genuine and open up because the other side of your personality can tend toward superficial conversations and shallow relationships. Let people know the real you, even if those things feel like they will tarnish your image.
Spiritual Inhibitor: Deception/Dishonesty
The act or practice of deceiving; concealment or distortion of the truth for the purpose of misleading; duplicity; fraud; cheating and getting ahead are potential pitfalls of this personality.
“The heart is hopelessly dark and deceitful, a puzzle that no one can figure out. But I, God, search the heart and examine the mind. I get to the heart of the human. I get to the root of things. I treat them as they really are, not as they pretend to be.”
– Jeremiah 17:9 (The Message)
Personal Growth Recommendations
– Strive for Authenticity
There can be no growth without truth. Remember, “The truth will set you free!”
Be intentional about an inner circle of friends that allow you to be open and vulnerable with them. This may start small, but will be the key for you to become more self aware. Find someone you don’t have to perform for or feel the need to impress. Just be you, even if that feels uncomfortable.
A simple suggestion is to ask God to help you find some inner circle friendships to share your life with and then put yourself reasonably “out there” and engage with potential friendships.
When making your weekly plans, include time for a friendship with other people and with God.
– Take Breaks
Learn to take breaks. Be as intentional and intense about breaks as you are about work. Breaks don’t always mean sitting still, it just means doing something that is not about achieving and that fills your soul.
Maybe as part of your Road Map you include some intentional breaks in your My Time section.
– Biblical Character Who is Like You
In Genesis chapters 29 through 49, the Bible tells the tale of Jacob also known as “the deceiver” who became a great patriarch whose descendant eventually was Jesus. Jacob spent his life striving to achieve by fair means or foul. Throughout his life, starting by grasping his brother’s heel when he was born to amassing a great fortune and large family, Jacob charmed, worked and schemed his way to success. It is critical to note here that not only was Jacob loved and chosen by God for a great destiny but also that his destiny came true in the best way when he presented his honest, competent self while following God’s instructions to the letter.
With the myriad of talents that God has given you and the potential for good that they represent, it is important that you trust and follow God rather than trying to earn fleeting praise or self importance.
Any thoughts or feedback?