John Ortberg: The Me I Want To Be, Book Review

I’m a John Ortberg fan. And I really appreciated his new book: The Me I Want to Be: Becoming God’s Best Version of You.

What first bugged me about this book became what I enjoyed most about it. πŸ™‚ Ortberg jumps from topic to topic, and each topic has subtopics, so the book felt a little scattered (at times). But don’t give up on it. It’s full of great, applicable suggestions for new perspective, living out your faith, trying softer, reaching out in relationships, and finding God in your work.

I would rate the book very high: 9 out of 10. This is because I think I will remember it for a while, and I will probably read passages of it to friends, and talk about it with my mom, and reference back to it when I need a little insight.

If you get reading and the choppy irritates you, simply skim ahead to the chapters you want. I am so glad I kept on, because the later chapters on prayer, deepening relationships, feeding your mind with excellence, being human, finding difficult people to help you grow, letting God flow in your work, prioritizing life giving relationships … I really LOVED his wisdom.

A few great quotes from the book:

“Other people don’t create your spirit; they reveal your spirit.”

“God never grows two people the same way. God is a hand-crafter., not a mass-producer.”

“God’s plan is not just for us to be saved by grace–its for us to live by grace.”

“We don’t know what we are capable of until we have to cope.”

“In what we call ‘normal life,’ we drift along under a set of assumptions that may work for a long time: I may feel secure because I have a certain amount of money. I have an identity because I have a certain job, title, degree, or list of achievements. I have a purpose because I am going to achieve more than I already have. Life seems to “work.” Then a crisis comes. Maybe it’s a financial crash. Maybe you lose your job. Maybe you lose someone you love. You go to the doctor’s office and find you have a malignancy. There is a scandal, and you lose your reputation. Your son or daughter rejects you, running down a road that violates everything you believe in. Any crisis carries in its wake the question, “What can I build my life on that circumstances cannot rob me of? What really matters?”


  • susanmarie April 15, 2010 Reply

    Interesting review!! Can you explain “trying softer?” Just curious…

  • Karen April 15, 2010 Reply

    Susan, here is a clip of what he says about trying softer: “The problem when I try harder is that I get fixated on my own heroic efforts. I grow judgemental. I can’t let this endure forever. So instead of making vows about how my spiritual life will be perfectly well organized until I die, I seek to surrender my will for just this day. I look for small graces. I try to engage in little acts of service. I pray briefly to accomodate my limited attention span. I look for ways of being with God that I already enjoy. I try to go for half an hour without complaining. I try to say something encouraging to three people in a row.”

    I love the concept that we take baby steps and cultivate closeness, trust, intimacy with God.

  • ε€«ιŸ³ April 15, 2010 Reply

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  • Maribeth April 15, 2010 Reply

    Thank you for this review! I’m very interested in reading the book now!

  • susanmarie April 15, 2010 Reply

    Funny! I was reading your comment here and thinking, okay, it really sounds like he is talking about “baby steps” and slap my thigh if you don’t use that very phrase in your last sentence!

    I get it now. =)

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