Twelve years ago, I graduated from high school, and in that short time the world around me has changed significantly. The internet at the time was just beginning to take off and cell phones were becoming more commonplace. Even though I went to a high school where most of the students drove BMW's and Lexus to school, no one had an IPAD, IPhone or any other technological device. Today's teenager is not only inundated with the need for the latest and greatest technology, but also with the need for a nice car in order to fit in with the "cool crowd".
While this isn't always the case at every high school, my point is teenagers are facing an enormous amount of pressure not only to have the latest technology, but also from a culture that teaches them to objectify the opposite sex. In the twelve years since I've graduated from high school a lot has changed, but then again a lot hasn't changed. The world in which we live in has always been in love with itself, but the difference now is we can actively see it pursuing its own lust and greed at an accelerated rate.
Teenagers and young adults are confronted in high school and college with peer-pressure, codependency, low self-esteem and these are just some of the issues that young people are facing today. In What Do You Think of Me? What Do I Care? Answers to the Big Questions in Life, Dr. Edward Welch seeks to answer young adults questions such as, "Why is it so important to be liked, and why is rejection so traumatic? Dr. Welch's book is structured around the problem, the heart of the matter, Who is God?, Who am I?, and Who are They?
Dr. Welch doesn't just diagnose the problem but moves to the heart of the problem, which isn't self-improvement but understanding who God is and who I am. As one understands who God is and who they are, one sees that there are two types of worship: true and false worship. False worship promotes idol worship, but worship of the God of the Bible leads to humbling oneself, and worshipping Him in Spirit and in Truth.
As Dr. Welch explains who God is, he teaches the attributes and nature of God, as well as His work in Creation and through His Son Jesus Christ. In the section on "Who Am I," Welch doesn't point to improving oneself but to the glory of King Jesus. The way to really serve people is to have as your hero Jesus Christâ€”the One who humbled Himself so man could know and serve Him.
In high school what others thought of me was a big concern for me. I can't imagine what a high school student goes through today, but I do know from personal experience that fearing man always leads to compromise in our walk with God. The fear of the Lord simplifies life, but the fear of man complicates life.
As the author diagnoses the problem with us, which is our sin he never fails to bring his readers back to the Gospel. What Do You Think of Me? What Do I Care? Answers to the Big Questions in Life Dr. Edward Welch is a very helpful book for teenagers and young adults that is full of lots of questions for teens and young adults to think through. I recommend parents get a copy of this book for your children to help them to understand how the peer pressure and other issues they are facing are not new problems, but rather old problems that have at their root, our sin. The only remedy for sin is what Christ did in His death, burial and resurrection. Only because of His work can sinners be forgiven and experience a growing and abiding relationship with Him. This book will not only help young adults to be free from the opinions of others but learn to experience genuine, loving relationships with others as they learn about themselves, others and God.
Title: What Do You Think of Me? Why Do I Care?: Answers to the Big Questions of Life
Author: Dr. Edward Welch
Publisher: New Growth Press (2011)
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the New Growth Press book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
Do you care what other people think about you? Does a critical comment get you down?
Welch says we all share a common problem: fear of others' opinions. Every human being has had to manage, tolerate, and struggle with it. We want to fit in. We want to be respected. Perhaps we act differently when we know people are watching. Perhaps we cave into peer pressure.
Welch says the heart of the matter is not other people. "Chances are that the problem is not so much the eyes of other people as it is something in you." (19)
Much of life, Welch says, comes down to three questions:
Who is God?
Who am I?
Who are these other people?
You have the answers to these questions, he says. They just need to be uncovered. The Bible is the guide. The Bible will get to your heart.
Welch notes that to want to be liked, loved, appreciated, and successful is common. To need these things is a problem. "You will either fear God or other people. There are no alternatives." (35)
Welch writes about worship and idols. "Even if you worship Jesus Christ and say that he alone is King, you can easily drift to mixed allegiances." (41) He helps readers see that God is to be relevant all the time (not just when we need Him). He explains how what may be a good thing turns to a bad one (idolatry can masquerade as something innocent).
Welch lays out a path of a lifelong journey. First, turn around - turn back to God. Listen to Him. You will love Him more and want to act like Him, loving others more. "The more you love God, the less you will love the acceptance or recognition of others." (69)
Welch investigates Bible stories to help describe who God is. He recommends examining some of the prayers of the Bible to identify your deepest needs. To find out who God created you to be, look at Jesus. Remember, you are to live for God, not yourself. (114) That means you love others more than they love who.
In identifying the "other people," Welch says, "Other people are family. If they are human beings they have met the basic qualifications, and we are called by God to love them like family." (131) Your goal: to love more than you need love. (133)
Aimed at teens and young adults, this book is of an interactive style, including questions throughout the text for individual and group study.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from The B&B Media Group for the purpose of this review.