The following is a short piece of prose by my writer friend, Ms. Katherine Wilde. I thought it might be relevant to some of you, since self-image is such a defining problem of the new generation of young people. Let me know what you think of it in the comments!
A man only has worth as he is valued by God. There is no claim we can make, no skill we can possess, no boast but this: we are loved of God. We are wanted by God, who decreed that we should come to salvation, who designated vessels for wrath or for glory, according to his wisdom. We are only of use as we are of use to him. We are only of service as we are of service to him. He dispels our insecurities, not by revealing to us that we are good enough, by revealing to us that he is good. We must believe ourselves worthless and priceless simultaneously. This dichotomy is the only correct way to understand ourselves, and to function with purpose and efficiency. Otherwise we disable our ministries by excessive self-obsession. Either we will be crippled by pride or else by insecurity. Both can be seen as selfish, though we are far more disposed to pardon a poor self-image than an over-inflated one. The truth is that the belief in one’s own total worth or total worthlessness is an unwarranted belief, and as we have seen, debilitating. We must seek to love God, not by our own power, but by his. It is God’s love that enables us to love God.
This book, like the last two I reviewed, has been taking the Christian community by perpetual storm for a good while now. Daisy suggested that I read it, and I think you readers will surmise that the review I will give you will not be as glowing as hers would have been.
Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers is the retelling of the biblical account of Hosea and Gomer, which is meant to parallel God’s relationship with Israel (according to the Bible, not Francine Rivers). The author sets the story in 1850.
My problem with this book is not the romance. Believe it or not, I’m a very romantic person. My problem is not even with the fact that Francine Rivers chose to adapt a Bible story, although most, if not all, of the biblical adaptations I’ve read are horribly inaccurate. The original is always better. My problem with Redeeming Love lay solely in the fact that it was theologically unsound. In Redeeming Love God leads people to do what the God of the Bible would never lead people in real life to do. The power of an allegory is not to be underestimated and can be easily used to mislead people. So if you do choose to read Redeeming Love, do not read blindly, which you should not do anyway, with any book. Otherwise, I am not too proud to admit that I found this book entertaining, although instructive in a way I do not wish to be instructed.