I was impressed with this book. It is one thing to intellectually know that God has created each of us as an unique person, but it is quite another to understand, embrace, and live in that uniqueness. This book gives us the tools to understand who we are and move into God's design for us.
There are four parts to the book. Leaf helps us understand who we are in terms of thinking, feeling, and choosing. Then she has a section on the science behind each person's uniqueness. Next is a large section full of questions that is an assessment tool to help us understand our self. The last section has exercises to help us grow our unique self.
Two aspects of the book really impressed me. The first is the section on science. There have been many recent discoveries regarding the brain and behavior and Leaf explains them well. She also incorporates the discoveries into a model for spiritual transformation and renewing the mind.
The second aspect is the idea of discomfort zones. There are areas where we know we are not being who we really are, who God created us to be. That discomfort is a prompt from God. Leaf helps us identify them and then grow our God designed self.
Something else I liked was Leaf's little bit about mindfulness. I've read lots about it and finally understood it when she wrote about developing a mindful awareness which includes being in constant dialogue with the Holy Spirit. (93) The concept finally made sense to me.
The only thing that made this book less than perfect was Leaf writing, “You recognize that who you are is fundamentally good (Gen. 1:31).” (34) That verse represents creation before the sin of Adam and Eve and creation being tainted by sin. Man is born tainted by sin and is not fundamentally good. It is only through belief in Christ that the fundamental sin nature of man is changed.
There is much science in this book and that might intimidate some. I found the material understandable and practical. I like that this book is not a grand personality test, putting us in a certain personality style. Leaf encourages each of us to be our unique self designed by God.
I recommend this book to those who really want to understand who God created you to be, how you might have been pulled away from that being, and how you can grow into God's unique design.
My rating: 4/5 stars.
Dr. Caroline Leaf is the author of several previous books and numerous scientific journal articles. She practiced clinically for twenty five years while simultaneously working in impoverished areas in South Africa. She has worked in education for as many years. She is currently still doing research on the mind, body, spiritual connection. She lives with her family in California. You can find out more at http://drleaf.com/.
Baker Books, 320 pages.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.