At the end of the day, God isn’t going to ask, “Why weren’t you more like Billy Graham or Mother Teresa?” He won’t even ask, “Why weren’t you more like David?” God is going to ask, “Why weren’t you more like you?”
Ah, but you’re wrong. No such thing exists.
Mark Batterson writes Soulprint to remind you that not only are you unique, it’s your responsibility to stay that way.
The book is “all about you, but it’s not about you at all.” It’s really about God. And how your uniqueness is intentional so you can love God uniquely. That makes sense to me.
The clearer you see God, the clearer you see yourself, and the better equipped you are to serve him with your individual giftings.
Mark’s backdrop (as is normal with his books) is a story from the Bible. This time it’s the life of David. He chooses 5 scenes as his base:
- Scene I: Holy Confidence
David kills Goliath
Self-confidence must die if holy confidence is to be resurrected. The two cannot coexist.
- Scene II: Lifesymbols
David saves all 125 lbs, 15 oz, of Goliath’s armor
…the word remember is repeated almost 250 times in Scriptures. We have a tendency to remember what we should forget and forget what we should remember. And that’s why God is always telling us to build altars or establish memorials.
- Scene III: The Crags of the Wild Goats
David hides from Saul
What we think of as the goal isn’t really the goal. The goal is not accomplishing the dream God has given to you. The dream is a secondary issue. The primary issue is who you become in the process. We fixate on what and when and where. God’s primary concern is always who.
- Scene IV: Alter Ego
David dances in the streets
There are certain situations where embarrassment is the only way you can remain true to God and to yourself. It’s either embarrassment or hypocrisy, embarrassment or sin, embarrassment or obedience.
- Scene V: The Devil’s Workshop
David sins with Bathsheba
You are no longer defined by what you’ve done wrong. You are defined by what Christ has done right. His righteousness is your identity. His righteousness is your destiny.
A discussion guide is included at the back of the book, as is a bonus selection from Primal.
I wouldn’t call this a great book, but it’s a good book. It’s not weighty, but it is encouraging. I probably won’t re-read it, but I could give it away in good conscience to a new believer or someone struggling with their identity in Christ. (And if that’s you, e-mail me your mailing address and I’ll mail it to you!)
You might not learn many new things in Soulprint, but you’ll be reminded of things you need to hear again. Mark is good at that, which is why I was glad to see his book show up on Multnomah’s blogger review program.
He writes to be understood. He is handy with a phrase (his quotes are easy to tweet). But above all, he aims to be God-pleasing, pointing you upward as you look inward.
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More Mark Batterson’s books: