I asked David Swanson why he wrote his new book, Learning to be You. Here’s the problem he addresses:
Some of us spend our whole lives trying to figure out who we are. But if we are followers and disciples of Christ, our identity is already decided. What we need to learn is how to understand it, embrace it, and let it lead us to a life of conviction and courage.
Below is a teaser from the book.
Maybe there are some people in the world who are so faithful and so attuned to God that when they come to those moments (when we draw close to death or mortality), moments even more realistic than mine, they are not afraid. Maybe there are some people so filled by the Spirit that those moments are bathed in total peace. Perhaps, but I think that is far more the exception than the rule. I think, as finite, flawed human beings, it is quite normal and natural to fear our demise. If it did not bother us in some way, I am not sure we valued life to begin with.
Of course, there are circumstances where death is a welcome relief from pain and suffering. I have seen people in those situations who embrace the possibility and actually long for it. I am not denying those realities, but simply acknowledging that for most of us, fear is a normal reaction to the prospect of death. And if it is, then the challenge is to examine those fears and not deny them.
If we super-spiritualize our self-talk and externally exude the Christian bravado we think must accompany the life and manner of a “good Christian”, we only do ourselves and others a disservice. We prevent ourselves from looking honestly at why we fear it, and in so doing, we never allow for spiritual growth. And if we don’t grow, we have nothing to offer others around us who fear the same things, and who may look to us for the hope they lack. Denying our fears only forces them deeper into an ever-widening pool of angst and anxiety. Facing the fears and considering God’s Word in response to them is what brings the peace we so long for, and by examining those fears now, we make ourselves all the more ready for the inevitable moment that is to come. We also allow God to mature us in faith so that we become useful instruments in His hands, ready and able to minister to others who may wrestle with those same fears.
Section from Learning to be You included here by permission of the author.
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