Made For More: An Invitation to Live in God’s Image is an excellent, thought-provoking, theologically sound exploration of the problem of identity and how to ground yourself in who God made you to be, so that you can uniquely reflect Him and bring Him glory.
At first I was afraid that this would be another pink-and-purple, God-lite style devotional book, but I was pleasantly surprised to find it deep, meaty, and challenging.
I thought the author did a wonderful job of using Scripture to find what the Bible says about identity and reflecting God’s image, rather than having an idea and then searching for Scripture to back it up (a subtle distinction, but an important one). I had never considered metamorphosis as a theme in the Bible, but this book helped me think about the Bible in light of how God changes people, and I loved seeing that layer applied.
I also appreciated how Anderson emphasized that God created us a certain way, and that we reflect and glorify Him when we’re doing the things He made us to do, using the gifts He gave us, and being the unique person we were created to be. Anderson really unpacks the difference between self-esteem and identity grounded on external factors and identity grounded in who we are as a unique creation.
Related to that point, and perhaps the most profound section of the book (and I hope the author writes more extensively on this topic in a future book, because I think she nailed it) is Anderson’s description of integrated identity. That is, rather than chasing the have-it-all thing, or attempting to compartmentalize different facets of our identity, Anderson advocates a convergence and flourishing that comes from seeing our different callings and roles–from personal to professional, expressing our giftedness to accomplishing mundane tasks–as a chance to be the hands and feet of Christ, and to reflect the unity and wholeness of the Trinity. And, she writes, when we love God with the fullness of our identities, and seek Him in every aspect of our lives, we will enjoy His peace and see those seemingly disparate parts of who we are “work together in beautiful coordination for our good and His glory.” I love the way she puts this:
The fact that I am a woman, that I am a mother, that I am a writer—even where I live—all work together to enable me to image God in a more complex, more brilliant way than if my identity were simply one-dimensional. So even as we strive for wholeness, we do not reach it by diminishing the multidimensional nature of our lives. We find it through the complexity of them. We find wholeness as each facet is cut to capture and reflect the radiance of Christ Himself.
I am not doing justice at all to Anderson’s argument here, but the whole section is so well thought out, so well written, refreshing, and encouraging, I would recommend the book if only for that part.
But really the entire book is excellent. I got so much out of it and think it may wind up making my best of 2014 list. I also think this would make a great book study for a group. While it’s not structured as a Biblestudy, it could be used as one if you looked up all of the references and tailored it for your group. I could see using it with high school girls or an adult women’s study. Even if you don’t get a chance to read the book and discuss it in a group, it’s a wonderful book for personal reading, and I highly recommend it.
Disclosure: I received a review copy of this book, but the opinions contained in this post are my own. This post contains affiliate links to Amazon–I’m grateful for your support of A Spirited Mind!