Think Again: Relief from the Burden of Introspection
By: Jared Mellinger
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First Person • NonFiction • Narrative Style • 192 Pages
About the Book (Backcover Blurb):
Being mindful about who you are and what you are doing isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Evaluating yourself is necessary and can lead to positive change.
But what about the dark side of introspection? Do you ever feel weighed down and exhausted by your own self analysis? Perhaps you made a mistake, said a careless word, or even messed up big time. Now you cant get it out of your mind. You keep revisiting what happened. Your mind circles around the event, fruitlessly trying to somehow make the outcome different so that you don’t feel embarrassment, shame, and regret.
Jared Mellinger, a pastor and self-confessed struggler with introspection holds out the hope of the gospel for those who, like him, overdose on introspection. Only truly understanding the gospel can rescue us from false guilt, fruitless self-examination, and self-accusation.
The only long-term solution to thinking too much about ourselves is when our attention is drawn away from ourselves and Jesus fills our minds eye.
Why I Choose this Book:
Although I’m not sure how overly introspective I am, feeling extremely guilty when I’ve made a mistake or messed something up is something I’ve struggled with all of my life. (And I’m talking about my day feeling ruined because of something that most people would have forgotten about in a matter of minutes.) Therefore, I figure this book might provide a healthy and balanced perspective.
What I Thought about this Book:
Yes, yes, and yes. This book was a solid four-star read. Nearly every page had me nodding. Lightbulbs were going off. It was good. The book was incredibly balanced, practical, and easy to understand. It was also interesting, flowed well, and made a lot of sense. So, pretty much combine that with a topic I needed to study, and we have a winning book. (In fact, those six elements are the big things I look for in nonfiction, and this book hit all of them.)
One of the biggest things I realized while reading this book is that when I feel guilty, it’s most likely because I’m taking my eyes off of Jesus to focus too much on myself. (Which, strangely enough, isn’t something I would have realized on my own.) Feeling guilty can be helpful, but it can be very detrimental, too. Not only did this book explain why people are introspective at times, but the book also went through when it’s healthy, how it’s healthy, and when and why and how it can be unhealthy, too. Then, it followed up with what we can do to become more balanced and healthy in the area of introspection. The book was through and moved along at a fast clip and impressed me a lot.
Although it’s good to take time to evaluate how we’re doing in life, it’s so important for us to do that quickly and then get the focus off of ourselves and look back to Jesus. The book also talked very practically about when it’s a good time to be introspective, and when it’s a bad time. For instance, you don’t want to take time to be introspective at the end of a long day when you’re exhausted, yet that’s naturally when our brains start going through events and beating us up. Obviously, that isn’t healthy. So, we need to teach ourselves to not allow our minds to begin taking inventory of how we’re doing, but instead to focus on Jesus and His goodness during times like that.
All in all, the book was totally spot-on.
I highly recommend this book – not only to people who struggle with introspection, but pretty much to anyone.
I’m giving Think Again 4 out of 5 stars, and 8 out of 10.
*I received this book from Litfuse