Beyond Me: Book Review

This is not just any book review… this review is a part of the virtual book tour for Kathi Macias’ new book, Beyond Me. Living a You-First Life in a Me-First World. I find the virtual tour concept a great idea and I’m sure if you Google Kathi or this book title in the next week or so you’ll find lots of blogs with interesting insight into her book.

 

I have to say right off that this book is not what I was expecting given the title. My assumption was that Beyond Me would practically address how we as Christians can battle the “me-first” mentality of our culture and in the process seek to serve others and point them to Christ. In some ways the book addressed this, but not like I anticipated.

 

Here are the aspects of Beyond Me that I appreciated:

1. Kathi bases everything she writes on scripture. Amen, my friend! I get really tired of Christian “how-to” books that give the author’s opinion and rarely talk about God’s opinion. Kathi however, doesn’t do this, she effectively and clearly weaves scripture throughout her text and undergirds any opinion that is “hers” with Truth.

 

2. The “You-First” aspect of the book isn’t just those around us (which is where my limited thinking headed when I heard the title), Kathi emphasizes our relationship with God and how He is the “You” that must ultimately be first in our lives.

 

3. The questions. Each chapter is followed by a few thought-provoking and challenging questions that are just enough to get you thinking. This would make this book excellent for a small group or book club discussion.

 

4. Chapter 8. While I enjoyed every chapter in one way or another, Chapter 8- Abide in Me, was by far my favorite. In our “Me-First” mentality it’s easy to isolate ourselves and I appreciate that Kathi points to the urgent need for unity and abiding in Christ for ourselves and in our relationships with other believers.

 

There was really only one aspect of the book that was a downer for me. I am a very linear thinker and value arguments and explanation that are well-connected. I felt that chapters were disjointed and in some sense could almost stand alone.  This made it hard for me to connect the ideas. The plus-side to this is that this would lend itself well to a group study week by week where if you missed a week you could easily pick back up.

 

Overall this was a challenging book.  I can see how it could really impact me differently if I were to read it at different seasons in my life.  With the birth of my first child at the end of July, my perspective as I was reading was really shaped by the new eyes I feel I have as I look at the world and my faith as a parent.

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