I just finished Donald Miller’s book, Searching for God Knows What. I normally take pages of notes when I read books offering guidance for living, but I only jotted six thoughts from this book by Miller. Sometimes less is more. Let me share those six things.
- I am concerned with what people think of me because I ignore or dismiss the only One who can provide the affirmation I need. Miller isn’t suggesting that I totally ignore other people but more eagerly embrace God’s love toward me just as I am. He is the only one I need not pretend to be who I am not. He sees me in all my sin, but still reaches out to me in acceptance.
- Human praise is so ineffective that I need it repeatedly and from a multitude of people. This is absolutely how I operate. I want to be loved, admired, respected, or whatever term makes sense to you. I seem to desire this from a variety of people – even from people I don’t really like. And the strokes I do receive are seldom satisfying for any length of time. Soon I’m again hungry for affirmation.
- There is nothing wrong with being liked, but that is not my redemption. That does not establish my true worth. My worth is not determined by how many Facebook friends I have or even the depth of my friendships. My true worth is determined by the value placed on me by the Redeemer.
- Repentance is choosing to have an audience of One rather than many. This illustrates Miller’s conviction that “being saved” is more about relationship with Jesus than praying certain words or doing certain tasks in a certain order. Asking people, “What do you have to do to become a Christian?” results in as many answers as people you ask. What if being saved was the process of becoming wholly devoted to Jesus. What if being saved wasn’t so much about “what” as it is about “who”?
- People are not right or wrong. I merely select ideas, beliefs, or behaviors that are right or wrong and make them my own. I expend too much energy, damage too many relationships, and create too many wars just trying to be right – or trying to prove you are wrong.
- Do I ___________ just so I can check it off my list? (stick any spiritual act in the blank) Do I pray to strengthen my relationship with Jesus or just to complete the duty? Do I go the gathering of the church to deepen my love for Jesus or out of habit? If my focus was Jesus and doing whatever it takes to tighten my grip on him, what would I do?
Miller helped me see how shallow I am in relationships. He fueled the flames within me for deep community and devoted love for Jesus. And he assured me that love was a journey, a life-long journey.