Where does that feeling come from—and what does it really mean?
The truth is that we are special, because we are all
beloved children of our Heavenly Father, and we enjoyed a special,
personal relationship with Him before coming to earth. Having left His
presence, we feel a void, a homesickness that reminds us that we are
more than mortal beings and inclines us toward our Father and His love.
But we are sometimes persuaded by the lie that we are more
special than others. The lie lifts us above others, creates feelings of
entitlement, and convinces us that the void we feel signifies our
personal destiny for glory. It inclines us to seek fame, prestige, or
wealth as proof of our superiority over others.
Each of us is constantly enticed by this truth and this
lie, and we respond to both using four strategies to manage our
acceptance or denial, each with its defining feature of pride, despair,
selfishness, or true discipleship. In Are We Special? authors
Jeffrey Reber and Steven Moody show us how to increase our acceptance of
the truth and denial of the lie in order to become true disciples of
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Jeffrey S. Reber holds a PhD from Brigham Young University in psychology. He’s an associate professor in the Department of Psychology at BYU.
His publications look at the relationship between religion, psychology,
and interpersonal relationships. He has also worked with LDS Family Services and has served as a bishop.
Steven P. Moody received his master’s degree in clinical social work from the University of Southern California. At USC, his clinical work focused on families, including marital therapy and relationships. Steven has worked as a counselor with LDS Family Services. He is now a therapist in private practice specializing in both relationships and addictions.
I'll say right out that I loved this book. Not only is it informative and enlightening, but I found much to think about here. The authors made many good points about how every human being is special because we are children of God. They go on to discuss how all to many people take this fact and (with Satan's encouragement) turn it into a lie. The lie that some people are more special than others for whatever reason, place/circumstances of birth, wealth, talents, etc. The authors then discuss how people behave based on whether they believe the truth, the lie, or bits of both. The four types they came up with are: the Pharisees, Egoists, Nihilists, and Disciples.
Pharisees believe both the truth and the lie. People in this quadrant believe that human beings are special as children of God, but that the 'chosen' are more special than anyone else.
Egoists believe only the lie, that they are more special because of their own individual circumstances, choices, and talents.
Nihilists believe neither the truth nor the lie and are full of despair and discouragement.
Disciples of course believe the truth and reject the lie. These people are trying to be true followers of Jesus Christ.
The authors go through and discuss each of the above categories. They make clear that few people stay in any one quadrant, most move back and forth throughout our lives. The goal is to become permanent residents of the Disciple quadrant and learn to believe the truth and reject the lie. This is a profound book with great insights and examples into some of the misconceptions that Satan would have us believe. I found myself identifying with many of the things that the authors said. This is the kind of book you can read over and over and still find things to help you improve. I highly recommend this book to those who like me are always striving to be better disciples of Jesus Christ.
I am currently working as a elementary school librarian which I love. I enjoy sharing books on my blogs of which I have two (Geo Librarian and LDS and Lovin' it). I also review for School Library Journal.