Stop for a second and think about the description you’d give of a narcissistic person. What characteristics describe that type of person? Maybe self-absorbed, big-headed, overly confident, highly-opinionated, and self-assured. Very few people would aspire to this state of vainglory! However, Jared Mellinger’s book, Think Again: Relief from the Burden of Introspection, turns our definition on it’s head by showing that narcissism can look very different. Consider the person whose self-absorption manifests itself in constantly looking at his own flaws, feelings, and perspectives about his life and the people around him. In Think Again, Mellinger provides witty, practical, and pastoral insight for those who suffer from the burden of hyper introspection.
As I perused the pages of Think Again, I couldn’t help but release a major sigh of relief. For so long I’ve felt as though nobody understands the tangled mess of thoughts I live in each and everyday. It seemed as though Mellinger dug to the depths of my introspective heart and unearthed the sin issues which have been buried beneath 28 years of a hyper-negative self view. Mellinger’s main aim is not to get introspective people to think less (or more highly) of themselves but rather to think more soberly and less often about themselves. Pride can be found in openly self-absorbed people, but it is just as easily found in those who can’t escape their thoughts for long enough to be present in their life circumstances. Many introspective people think looking inward will solve their problems. This is far from right, and it actually leads them away from the solution.
What is the solution? If a woman walks around with her head down, staring at the grass, she can never see the awe-inspiring beauty of a spring afternoon or the humbling splendor of a starlit night. We would be wise to say to her, “Look up and look around! There’s so much out there for you to see!” Similarly, Mellinger calls readers to “Look up!”. We should take 10 looks at Christ for every one look at ourselves. We should see Christ and His work in us when we look in the mirror. We should literally look around and see the God-glorifying scenery around us. We should look to love and serve God and others through a gospel-centered community rather than looking at ourselves.
Think Again comes with my highest recommendation for Christian living and counseling. If you battle with introspection or know anybody who struggles with it, purchase this book for yourself and others! The questions at the end of each chapter are extremely helpful and engaging. Don’t miss out on this excellent resource! Once again, New Growth Press hits a homerun!
I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.