Our happy identity

Matt Fuller
The Good Book Company. 185 pages. £6.79
ISBN 978 1 784 982 911
Buy online from The Good Book Company 

file_2cx6bk7ninfb5y5uwyytu34hqy27iseeThe minute I finished this book I bought two copies for my sons! Being true to yourself is everyone’s dream. It’s the key to happiness. But only when you’ve worked out who you are.

Matt Fuller’s 11 chapters help us to do that. He takes us down the dead ends of the usual things that shape how we think of ourselves (like the opinion of others, or fulfilling the desires we have). He examines how we like to project ourselves in a selfie world. He does it with the wisdom that comes from much reading, and an insightful mind that comes from contact with lots of different people. The book is short and written in a style that teenagers will keep reading to the end – it makes you both think and smile!

But I bought it for my sons, who are pastors. It’ll inject wisdom into their ministry. It is sensitive. The desire to be true to yourself affects our approach to our gender identity and sexual appetites. It is hard to refute the world’s drive to self-expression in these areas. Fuller does: convincingly.

He attractively explains that to be true to yourself means knowing who God made you to be. We are image, not original. We are copies of God and you can’t say that of any other creature. He gives us our identity, and happiness comes from being true to it. This helps us to address our struggles, resist peer pressure, handle criticism, and leads to making good decisions.

We may not like ourselves, but the answer is to be amazed that God loves us – like a famous star wanting a selfie with us!

Fuller teaches the gospel by showing it answers this quest for happiness. Self-expression sounds like the route to it. But self-denial paradoxically gets us there. Self-serving sounds like the way to be satisfied. But serving others (in marriage, in church) helps us to be true to our best selves. This book shows how to invest in relationships.

Some books just do you good to read, but this one is impossible to keep; because the more who read it the better.

Mike Reith
Retired vicar who attends St.Peter’s Stapenhill (Burton).

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