Book Review of Think Again

I recently finished reading Think Again by Jared Mellinger.  The cover says "relief from the burden of introspection."  I highly recommend this book to everyone because all of us can become too obsessed with self. We can easily spot the narcissist is our midst, but this book helps us see that we too can become overly focused on self as we seek to grow in our relationship with Christ.

I shared some quotes from the first half of the book a few days ago.  Visit that post for several great quotes from the book.

Mellinger does a great job describing the problem of introspection which he defines as "the act of looking inward."  He shares his own struggle with introspection at the beginning of the book and then in the following chapters helps the reader to understand themselves including self-love and self-loathing.  In Chapters 4-6, Mellinger gives counsel and comfort for those stuck in the introspective trap.  Chapters 7-9 address self-examination with Chapter 10 addressing the problem of hyper self-awareness.  Chapters 11-13 call us to look outside ourselves to creation, community, and Christ. 

One of the highlights of the book is Jared's focus on our identity in Christ rather than on identity in lesser things (work, relationships, what others say about us, what we believe about ourselves).  Mellinger goes even farther by suggesting a healthy way to focus less on ourselves by sharing this quote from Robert Murray M'Cheyne, "For every look at yourself take ten looks at Christ." Jared helps us see how our culture and even our upbringing has led us to focus on self-hatred or self-esteem.  The solution to both is the gospel.

Throughout the book, Mellinger encourages us to look up to Christ and by doing so leads us from despair, doubt, guilt, and shame.  Now, before you think this book is all about theory, Mellinger finishes the book with practical ways to self-examine. He writes, "This is why we must always look upward before looking inward. Only when we are consciously dwelling in the shadow of the cross are we able to examine ourselves with humility and faith."

I do have one caution regarding a section in Chapter 8 titled "Grace in the Mirror".  This book is full of gospel truths and focuses on what Christ has done.  Yet I wrestled with part of Chapter 8 regarding how our obedience and what we do affects God's pleasure of us.  Based on the book as a whole, I understand what Jared is saying, however, this section might cause some who are set free from introspection to revert back to overly examine their works and miss out on the grace and good news of a focus on Christ alone, grace alone and faith alone. 

If you are still wondering whether you should buy the book, I would encourage you to pick up the book for the final chapter alone.  As I was reading, highlighting, tweeting, and reflecting on Chapter 13: Ten Looks, I became grateful, thankful, and joyful for who God is and what He has done.  Whenever I become discouraged, overly introspective, doubt my faith or my ministry, or frustrated with others in my family, church, or the world, I will pick up this chapter and read it again.  Mellinger understands the gospel and has a great perspective on living as a follower of Christ by "Considering Him!"

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a honest review.


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