Evaluating yourself-being mindful of who you are and what you are doing-is necessary and can lead to positive change.
But what about the dark side of introspection? Do you ever feel weighed down and exhausted by your own self-analysis? Perhaps you made a mistake, said a careless word, or even messed up big time. Your self-examination spirals into a full-blown cross-examination. You keep revisiting what happened. Your mind circles around the event, fruitlessly trying to somehow make the outcome different so you don’t feel the embarrassment, shame, and regret.
The modern self-esteem movement has left us empty and self-focused. We exhaust our healthy introspection and pervert it into constant self-evaluation, wrong views of ourselves, self-accusation, and false guilt. Introspection was never meant to bear such weight.
Think Again offers real relief from the burden of introspection that so many of us carry each day. Pastor Jared Mellinger, who tends to overdose on self-analysis himself, shows us how the hope of the gospel can rescue us from the bad fruit of unsound introspection. Mellinger’s short, story-filled chapters help readers identify and turn away from unhealthy introspection.
There is an outward-focused God who delights to rescue an inward-focused people and lead them into a better way to live. When we truly understand it, we’ll see that the gospel actually sets us free from thinking about ourselves too much. We can seek after and pray for the peace and joy-the sanity-that comes from thinking about ourselves less often.
GENRE: Christian Growth, Nonfiction
PUBLISHER: New Growth Press
RELEASE DATE: April 10, 2017
“Every time we look at ourselves, what we see should lead us back to Christ.”
I think every introvert suffers from some level of introspection, which as Spurgeon says is useful to a point but can easily be overdone. Think Again by Jared Mellinger assures that we are not alone in our introspective tendencies. It also gives us this hope:
“There is an outward-focused God who delights to rescue an inward-focused people.”
Drawing on the wisdom of classic Christian authors, as well as the truth of Scripture, Jared Mellinger gives a practical yet theological resource for those whose introspection has become harmful and/or excessive. He doesn’t suggest eliminating introspection altogether but instead he proposes we should frame it within the context of Christ, focusing more on Him and less on self. Mellinger has sharp insight into this topic, and one of my favorite discussions involves the familiar verse from Psalm 139.
“Psalm 139:14 does not say, ‘I feel good about myself, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.’ It says, ‘I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.’ The focus is on God. The praise is directed to God, and the idol of self has been displaced.”
Bottom Line: Think Again by Jared Mellinger is down-to-earth, honest, and witty but it’s full of profound insight and practical truth. Even if you don’t struggle with introspection, it is beneficial reading that provides you with tools to help those who do. Besides, any book that uses Spurgeon, an epic airport fail, Jason Bourne and Dobby the house elf to illustrate the main point just needs to be in everyone’s home library!
(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the publisher. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)
My Rating: 4 stars / Great book!
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Jared Mellinger joined the Covenant Fellowship Church pastoral team in 2006, upon graduating from Pastors College of Sovereign Grace Churches. He became senior pastor in 2008. Jared graduated from Kutztown University in 2001 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Art Education. He enjoys reading, rollerblading, poetry, drinking coffee, building fires, and listening to Josh Garrels. Jared is the author of Think Again: Relief from the Burden of Introspection. He resides in Glen Mills, PA with his wife Meghan and their six children.