The Holy Work

When I first learned the early church fathers and mothers recognized the essentiality of knowing ourselves, I wondered why this was frowned upon in the evangelical church. Not only frowned upon, but discouraged because knowing ourselves was taught to be a selfish endeavor. Then I read Ministry in the Image of God by Stephen Seamands and my beliefs about this started to change. I wrote about it in two separate blog posts called Know Thyself and And That Is What We Are.

Generally, reformed Christian circles are against the idea of knowing ourselves. This is ironic since John Calvin wrote about the idea of knowing ourselves in his most profound work Institutes of the Christian Religion, the defining book of the Reformation.

“Without knowledge of self, there is no knowledge of God. Our wisdom, insofar as it ought to be deemed true and solid wisdom, consists almost entirely of two parts: the knowledge of God and of ourselves. But as these are connected by many ties, it is not easy to determine which of the two precedes and gives birth to the other.”

John Calvin

I’m far removed from those younger years of my faith journey, and now know that we know God better and better as we come to know ourselves better and better. It’s a life-time journey and the necessary and holy work if we are to live the life God intends for us.

All In One

I’ve read a lot of books about becoming all you can be, healing from childhood wounds, stopping the codependency cycle, and learning to cultivate healthy relationships but this is the only one that talks about all of those topics and more.

Dr. Alison Cook combines her knowledge of psychology, her counseling experience, and her faith in God to take readers on a journey to self-awareness and healthy relationships with ourselves, others, and God. She teaches us about trauma, how to avoid toxic relationships, and set firm boundaries. And she outlines the difference between selfishness, selfhood, and selflessness, which can be unclear for people of faith.

I’ll be diligent in finding the best resources to inform my own healing journey and as I begin the work of:

  • guiding others in their spiritual formation
  • walking with them through the stages of faith
  • helping them reconnect with what God desires for them
  • writing and teaching curriculum which will include all of these topics
  • and facilitating groups who want to search out the Scriptures

The Best of You is one I will go back to again and again as a personal resource and a trusted recommendation to those who wish to change and heal.

Do you want a comprehensive guide to be the best you? To know yourself and God better? To stop painful patterns? To cultivate healthy relationships?

This is the one to have on your nightstand today.

Photo by Redd on Unsplash

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