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The Me I Want to Be: Becoming God's Best Version of You

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Reading The Me I Want to Be is your first step to becoming God’s best version of you. Join bestselling author and pastor John Ortberg as he guides you through the sometimes difficult but ultimately fulfilling journey towards a uniquely created spirituality. One designed just for you … one that will enable you to experience God more fully each day. Available in four unique colors, customers purchasing at retail will select the cover they prefer.

272 pages, Hardcover

First published December 4, 2009

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John Ortberg

260 books539 followers

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5 stars
1,589 (41%)
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3 stars
645 (16%)
2 stars
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61 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 253 reviews
Profile Image for Drew.
8 reviews2 followers
January 5, 2011
It was hard to get over the title. Really hard.

But I could definitely see the book as a helpful primer for the Evangelical, wary of tradition, to come in contact with a few new (actually old) ideas. It's almost like Ortberg is making an attempt at spiritual direction, in the traditional sense, through the written word. Not ultimately surprising, considering the book I've read by him, The Life You've Always Wanted, is about the disciplines of the Faith.

In some ways, although Ortberg's humor is endearing, the book wasn't stylistically my favorite. Parts of the book seemed completely unnecessary. But then, parts were also strikingly meaningful. The section on work was particularly interesting, and I may return to it again later. And primarily, though it may just be because of where I am personally, the book forced me to reconsider some of the patterns I've fallen into and make a movement toward growth.
Profile Image for Jerry.
4,641 reviews56 followers
October 30, 2018
John Ortberg is an amazing writer. His heart for God and knowledge of the Word is evident on every page of his books. This particular volume was very inspiring and challenging.
Profile Image for Julie.
508 reviews9 followers
November 14, 2012
Forgive the cheeseball-title, and this is a wonderful book. I read this book over a couple of weeks, just a chapter or two a night, and it gave me something uplifting, inspiring, and calming to enjoy as I went to sleep. So many books in this genre are much too preachy, or their biblical interpretations end up being very skewed, or too desert-dry to get past the first page. Not "Me". Here are a few of my favorite quotes: "You are not your handiwork; your life is not your project. Your life is God's project. God thought you up, and he know what you were intended to be." "Some people think that if they seek to grow spiritually they will have to become someone else. But God won't discard your raw material." "God doesn't make anything and then decide to throw it away. He creates, and then if there is a problem, he rescues." "One of the most misquoted 'verses' you will never find in the Bible is this one: 'God will never give me more than I can handle.' Huh? Are you kidding me? Where is that one? Poverty, holocausts, genocide, war -- people are given more than they can handle all the time!... You will never be placed in a situation God can't handle."
Profile Image for Iulia.
44 reviews9 followers
September 16, 2021
John Ortberg m-a surprins plăcut prin modul simplu, accesibil și rezonabil de a explica și exemplifica viața trăită în plinătatea Duhului. Atinge aspecte practice ale vieții cotidiene și îndeamnă cititorul la analiză și cunoaștere de sine, pentru a putea ajunge la ceea ce Dumnezeu l-a intenționat să fie. Pentru cei care împart viața în cea spirituală și cea materială, cartea poate avea un efect de iluminare. Viața trebuie trăită în plinătatea și complexitatea ei, căutând a avea parte de toate experientele umane care ne aduc creștere. O trăire holistică și intenționată poate să ne vindece de religiozitatea insipidă și rigidă în care ne aflăm și în care ne simțim vinovați că nu găsim satisfacție.
Nu e o carte sofisticată sau cu idei pe care la prima lectură să nu le înțelegi, și nici nu pretinde a fi. De aceea nici nu trebuie comparată cu topul cărților în teologie. Tocmai lipsa caracterului ezoteric e ceea ce face această carte bună și o recomand cu căldură celor cărora le e greu să găsească distracția și plăcerea în creștinismul lor.
Nu mă așteptam să îmi placă așa o carte, dar a ajuns pe mâna mea la momentul potrivit.
Profile Image for Noel.
248 reviews142 followers
June 14, 2021
This was such a wonderful book. I hadn’t yet read anything by Ortberg, but my church frequently uses his quotes, and our former senior pastor (who is now retired), once told us we should read all of his books, because they’re just so good (he mentioned John Eldredge too, and I’ve read a couple of his books and he’s also great).

I was worried this would be a book of “shoulds”. You “should” do this, you “should” do that, and then you’ll be better. But it’s just the opposite. Ortberg shows how God meets us where we are at, and our growth comes not from our trying harder, but from our leaning into the Spirit. This was a refreshing, life giving book, that really gave me a new perspective on some things. I will certainly be reading more Ortberg going forward.

Definitely recommend. ☺️
14 reviews
April 13, 2012
Fabulous book. I can't express how wonderful and useful it has been to me! The ME I Want to Be is a fresh look on all the aspects of Christian life, with the basis that God needs to change our hearts first to work through our outer lives. It's such a great message, because so many books today are focused on fixing our ACTIONS, rather than getting to the heart of the problem. Ortberg provides many specific points about living the Christian life, but he makes it very clear that to truly be changed you have to go to God himself and get connected with him ("in the flow").
His ideas are like a breath of fresh air! They are true, honest, and clear, but he is also very humorous and uses lots of stories to make his point. It's both entertaining and inspiring. He isn't afraid to cut straight to the heart of the problem, but it is not in the accusing tone so many Christian thinkers have. It is as if he is on the journey with us-- messing up and needing grace-- because he is. That is what makes this book so powerful-- because he writes from experience. He is not afraid to be honest.
Many Christian books promise the answers to life and revolutionary ideas that will change us should we just read the next 300 pages. However, The Me I want to Be really does reach the level of inspiration it promises-- it is not emotion based, but rather solid logic we can actually hang on to and practice in our lives. It's a book everyone needs to read-- it doesn't solve all of life's problems, but it sure does put you on the right track. I highly recommend this book!
Profile Image for Farah Hany.
17 reviews11 followers
September 26, 2013
Every time I picked up from where I left off, I somehow always found the answer to a question that's been lingering in my mind for days. It's weird. This book has some really insightful thoughts into the patterns we take regarding our spirituality, and ways to get back into 'the flow'. I especially loved and learned a lot from the chapter on "trying softer". I'd totally recommend this book to anyone at a spiritual plateau or stuck with a disintegrated approach.
Profile Image for Karen.
502 reviews
June 2, 2014
I don't think I have been so disappointed by a book for a long time. There are one or two parts of this which are worth holding on to but on the whole this is a too-simple 'self-help' book for evangelical Christians who want to be told how great they are, and how everything about them and what they do can be turned round to make it sound like God is totally backing them too - racing fast cars, spending every waking hour on your job, loving every mouthful that passes your lips etc. etc. If you've been told 'that's not good for you/your family/the planet' then don't worry because this book will give you a way of seeing things which means you don't have to think about changing a thing. I used to like John Ortberg's take on things, not any more.
Profile Image for Julie.
196 reviews4 followers
May 21, 2020
I really enjoyed this book but didn't care much for the title - it sounded like a bad self-help book.

Otherwise this book is full of wonderful pieces of useful information. For example, I loved the following quotes from the book:

"God's plan is not just to be saved by grace - it is for us to live by grace."

"The main measure of your devotion to God is not your devotional life, it is simply your life. "

"Never worry alone. One of the most powerful ways to stop the spiral of worry is simply to disclose my worry to a friend. "
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Allan.
185 reviews1 follower
January 14, 2012
I have read this in small chunks over a number of months, as a kind of devotional book. This has helped me to absorb the different points John Ortberg makes along the way. I found quite a few gems in here- I really liked his take on "surrender" - the one decision that really helps. "I do not have to control the outcomes of my life- there is a God, it is not me!" And the next chapter on "trying softer" was also very thought-provoking: "Faith does not need to push the river because faith is able to trust that there is a river. The river is flowing. We are in it" (quote from Richard Rohr). A helpful chapter too on coping with adversity- and still holding on to hope as opposed to despair when we are in the midst of difficult circumstances. He quotes Julian of Norwich: "God did not say you shall know no storms, no travails, no disease. He said "You shall not be overcome". Some of the chapters didn't quite resonate for me, but overall there was lots here to encourage my faith and spur me on without making me feel guilty for the things I was not doing!!
Profile Image for Laura Smith.
Author 11 books76 followers
August 5, 2011
The day I finished this book I turned to page one and started all over again. This is a book to read in small bites, not to gobble all at once. There is so much to digest. It doesn't matter how many days it sits on my shelf, whenever I reopen this book, there is something that speaks to me - a lesson waiting - it seems - just for me. But when I start chatting about striving to be the best me God created me to be with friends, I find Ortberg's message is for everyone. God created you as a beautiful unique individual, with certain talents, gifts and capabilities. You were not designed to be like anyone else or to compete with anyone else or to compare yourself with anyone else. You were designed to let your own facets shine with the brilliance God gave you. Definately worth reading to remind yourself of this amazing gift and striving to use it the way God intended.
Profile Image for Susan Barnes.
415 reviews58 followers
August 10, 2018
The premise for John Ortberg’s book, The Me I Want to Be : becoming God’s best version of me, is that the most important task of your life is not what you do, but who you become. God is in the business of making us the best version of ourselves. Ephesians 2:10 tells us, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” We are not our handiwork; our lives are not our projects. We are to become the person God had in mind when he created us.

John shares two questions which helps us assess the well-being of our souls.
1. Am I growing more easily discouraged these days? If peace is growing in me, I am less easily discouraged.
2. Am I growing more easily irritated these days? If love is growing, I am less easily irritated.

The rest of the book is about developing spiritual disciplines, but not spiritual disciplines as we know them. Rather John looks at the uniquely different ways people grow spiritually and encourages his reader to find their own spiritual path which will help them become the person God intends. There is no simple, three-step guide to spiritual growth, God wants us to have a unique relationship with him so there is no one-size-fits-all approach.

Like all John’s books, he intersperses his teaching with funny anecdotes and witty comments.

A good read.
Profile Image for Nancy.
855 reviews
May 25, 2017
I am a big fan of John Ortberg, and this book is another reason why. In this book, he applies biblical knowledge to everyday situations and challenges. Becoming the best "you" you can be is God's plan for you, and following these principles will bring tremendously more peace, harmony and happiness to your life and relationships. He is equal parts intelligent, charming and winsome. He does not dumb down or simplify the themes, but illustrates them in a way that makes you understand how profound and valuable the truth is which he is discussing/teaching. As Ortberg points out, it's all about your relationship with God and the Holy Spirit flowing through you. Reading this book will help you learn how you can achieve these! Highly recommended!
35 reviews
August 25, 2021
I read this book a few years ago and was surprised at how much I liked it on second reading. The author has a cheerful tone and makes some corny jokes, but I found some of his points thought-provoking and insightful. I’d like this book to impact my life, if that gives you any indication of its worth.
9 reviews
April 5, 2020
Was moeilijk om in te komen en geen boek om lekker weg te lezen. Je moet hier rustig voor gaan zitten. Als je dat eenmaal doet, is het een eyeopener!
Profile Image for JennanneJ.
907 reviews28 followers
February 9, 2017
"Ironically, becoming this person will never happen if my primary focus is on me, just as no one becomes happy if their main goal is to be happy. God made you to flourish, but flourishing never happens by looking out for "number one." It is tied to a grander and nobler vision. The world badly needs wise and flourishing human beings, and we are called to bring God's wisdom and glory to the world. The truth is, those who flourish always bring blessing to others -- and they can do so in the most unexpected and humble circumstances."

"Every once in a while you do something that surprises you and catch a glimpse of the person you were made to be. "

"Your flourishing self pours blessings into relationships. You find other people to be a source of wonder. They often bring you energy. When you are with them, you listen deeply. You are struck by their dreams. You bless. You are able to disclose your own thoughts and feelings in a way that invites openness in others. You quickly admit your errors, and you freely forgive."

""The me God made me to be" is measured by my capacity to love. When we live in love, we flourish. That is the dance."

"If peace is growing in me, I am less easily discouraged. If love is growing, I am less easily irritated."

"What I was really dying to was a false self, an illusion of misplaced pride, ego and neediness -- the me I thought I was supposed to be."

"The letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. There is an enormous difference between following rules and following Jesus, because I can follow rules without cultivating the right heart."
Profile Image for Keith.
39 reviews
April 18, 2011
I am not so sure God wants me to be the best version of me I can be so I can be happy... I believe we are called to find joy in the midst of difficulties and trials as well as strive for holiness.

This book could be summed up in two verses...

Rom 12:1 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.
Rom 12:2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Profile Image for Robert Reed.
87 reviews
January 2, 2021
Ortberg has a wonderful writing style that is very readable and relatable. He can take a normal story about boarding an airplane and turn it into a vivid illustration with a spiritual application for your life. His books have notoriously cheesy titles that might be off putting for some, but the content is top shelf Brie.

I picked up this book in March and it just didn’t resonate with me, so I paused after a few chapters. I wasn’t in the best frame of mind, it was the early days of COVID-19, and I had other concerns that were weighing me down. But I picked it back up recently and every story just jumped off the page. It was exactly what I needed at this time. God knows.
Profile Image for Cindy.
857 reviews
March 26, 2011
Not what I expected. This is a new view on Christianity and our calling and walk with Christ. There are new idea's and new inspiration for the traveled Christian. I am pleased with this book and the format of communication the author used to illustrate his thoughts about the Me I want to Be. I like the challenge, "Ask for a Mountain" and I like how the author continued to place scripture to reinforce his ideas. A must read for Christians.
Profile Image for Greg.
41 reviews7 followers
June 26, 2013
A great well-balanced book on who Christ has made you and wired you specifically to be. I feel like this is particularly a great book for high school and college students as you go through key decision points in life. You were made special and different on purpose and the best you exists wrapped in the arms of Christ.

Please excuse the cheesy title!
Profile Image for Julie.
1,953 reviews38 followers
March 10, 2011
It's hard to keep up with John as he reads this book at such a brisk pace! My favorite quote is: "Nothing offered in love is ever lost" - I will be thinking about that for some time. What I like most about John's books is that they give you hope & leave you feeling "I can, I know I can".
Profile Image for Grace.
287 reviews8 followers
March 26, 2019
I am so old school. A pastor doing yoga? A pastor saying it's okay not to go to church? Thought experiments? ("Try imagining not being afraid anymore.") And this, "If you believe in God then you have already begun to pray...because believing in God means believing that he is always present." I am not sure how that works.

In one chapter, Ortberg treats spiritual growth. Ortberg describes it this way, "Spiritual disciplines are simply an activity you engage in to be made more fully alive by the Spirit of life." (Watching a sunset or a movie or a play.) "We often assess how 'spiritual' we are by how much we are pursuing our distorted list of 'what counts' towards spiritual growth instead of by our fullness of life. Working with joy, tipping generously, listening to someone patiently, eating gratefully, reading quietly, playing happily - it all counts! " I just don't know whose list is distorted. Yes, we are to enjoy life but how does that make me grow deeper in the knowledge of God?

One thought, though, I really appreciated. In the last chapter, he talks about Caleb at the age of 85 asking for the hill country. That was literally asking for a battle with the toughest enemies who had all the advantages. How many of us ask for the hardest territory? Not many. I want a Caleb spirit.
Profile Image for Daniel.
Author 1 book
March 21, 2017
I wouldn't call this book a life-changer but it's definitely one I will continue to reference. The Me I Want To Be is a book about you. God calls us to be the person He has made us to be. Everyone has skills, abilities, and dreams. This books explores ways to find those hidden deep inside to shape us into a better version of ourselves.

This book started transforming my thinking from the first chapter as it talked about abandoning the dreams that were hindering my growth. The author gives a great example of his dream of leadership. While mine was not leadership I was instantly able to identify and work through my own made-up dream. It's been incredible how more free I feel once I've set it aside.

I don't feel there are many negatives to this book. The writing is engaging and thoughtful. Scriptures are relevant as well as the author's personal stories. He tries for humor some times but it doesn't really seem that funny. All in all a good book. I would recommend it to anyone who wants to discover their true self. The one God created them to become.
4 reviews
February 13, 2019
Who do you want to be? A scientist? A chef? A writer? No. Let’s think a little deeper. Do you want to be kind? Or Honest? Ambitious? I ask you again, who do you want to be? All of these questions were brought to me by the book “The me I want to be”. This book is written by John Ortberg. The book is non-fiction and is biblically driven. It focuses on students my age to help them discover who they are currently and who they want to be. I was very excited to start reading this book. However, I would only give this book ⅖ stars because it was all content that I had heard before and nothing really stood out. I do not know if this was because I already have been exposed to material like this or because the author just kept restating the same points (although, I am leaning towards the second one). I would recommend this book to someone who is completely unfamiliar to biblical works and also is looking for some serious reflections about themselves. I give this book 2 of 5 stars for that reason.
2 reviews
December 9, 2019
This book changed my life! It taught me so much about connecting with God and worshipping Him in my own ways, being myself, but also about surrender. It gave me a great joy of life as well, a feeling of purpose... Too much to sum it all up, but I'd say it's a must read for every christian who truly wants to walk with God! By the way, it's really not a "scary" or "judging" book, but it opens your eyes in a fun, engaging, challenging way. It's a very easy and pleasant read. One of the best books I've ever read.
(Only minor thing I didn't like were the Disney references, as the author doesn't seem to be aware of the true darkness of all things Disney, but that's just something I find important and many other christians don't).
Profile Image for Erin Ross-Marsh.
51 reviews
December 14, 2021
Sjoe, it took me WAAAY too long to read this book.
I am not a fan of non-fiction books (better to listen to them!) but I always try to have at least one non-fiction book on my 'currently reading' shelf. This book, though it's been like 3 years, has been a wonderful book to read. John Ortberg is funny and engaging with his writing and he makes you truly want to be the best version of yourself, not for yourself, but for God and those around you. Despite the time it took to read, and the super cringy title, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and feel inspired and motivated to do all I can to be the person I was created to be!
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