I once read a quote that essentially said that you shouldn’t worry about how much – or what -others are thinking about you because the truth is that they are thinking of themselves, not you. I was struck by this quote because I couldn’t deny the truth it contained, and it was actually freeing. People aren’t judging me as much as I feel like they must be (I’m an Enneagram 1, so since I’m always judging myself I assume others are doing that to me as well).
We are all self-centered and think about ourselves a majority of the time, though we’d probably never admit it because we want to appear better than we actually are.
The Truth About Us by Brant Hansen delves even deeper into a related concept and I’m left in wonder and conviction. Not only does he suggest (and prove) that we are self-centered, but he also shows that we glorify ourselves and justify our actions through a series of well-documented biases.
I’m glad Brant’s first book was about not being easily offended because it would be easy to take offense/be defensive about what he wrote in this book – good thing he wrote that one first, haha. Instead, in his gentle way, he is able to disarm the reader and lead us into the truth he presents. We just have to be willing to consider it.
Part of me wonders how I never noticed these things before, but now that I know more about how the human brain functions, I’m actually left feeling encouraged. I’m even more grateful for Jesus, and for grace.
We all think we’re better than others. We justify our actions, we do what we want. We are all bad and, as the cover of the book says, that’s good news.
I know that sounds strange and vague. I don’t want to give too much away because I want you to read it for yourself. This is a book to be savored, not rushed; pondered, not pushed aside in offense. Much like his other two books, Brant’s words are freeing and encouraging – you simply have to be willing to hear them.
I’ll leave you with this quote – just one of MANY I underlined along the way:
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest,” Jesus says (Matt. 11:28). Perhaps that rest involves being able to stop all this machinery in its tracks. By admitting how we can fool ourselves, by admitting we’re addicted to our own rightness, by rethinking how we approach life, we may just also find this oft-elusive “peace” he spoke of.
No more justifying, no more constant rationalization. This is the beauty of actually saying, “I am not a good person.” (Page 40)
The Truth About Us is available TODAY – I highly recommend it!