Self. The very word makes postmodern people proud. After all, we are encouraged each day to please ourselves, nurture ourselves, and congratulate ourselves. Self-promotion is considered a virtue in our age. This propensity to narcissism is part of the warp and woof of contemporary culture. Self-absorption is so prevalent that Ryan Holiday takes the subject up in his recent book, Ego is the Enemy. It appears that “we” are the hero in our own epic drama. Tragically, this drama has an ending that is anything but happy.
Jen Oshman’s recent book, Enough About Me: Find Lasting Joy in the Age of Self, addresses the alarming trend of “me, myself, and I,” which has not only invaded the postmodern milieu; it has also subtly crept into the church.
First, Oshman sounds a jolting, yet necessary alarm. She issues a warning that the banner of narcissism is in our midst, and it aggressively and relentlessly competes for our attention. While the book is primarily addressed to women, the principles apply across the board. The author notes that we have moved from “relying on self to deifying self,” a shift that has been encouraged as various worldviews have morphed on a godless trajectory.
Second, Oshman moves from cultural diagnosis to theological purpose. She rightly notes the purpose of the Creator as he fashioned people in his image to glorify his name. The contrast between God’s sovereign purposes and our culture is stark:
God says, “I made you in my image to live for my glory.” Culture says, ‘Be self-made in whatever image you like and live for your own glory.’ This is a counterfeit calling, and it’s killing us.’”
Most important is the prescription which is prescribed by the author which is both radical and exclusive and fixated on a person, namely, the Lord Jesus Christ. Oshman closely follows the Pauline imperative in Colossians 2:6-7 and commends her readers to get rooted in Christ, built up in Christ, and established in Christ. Anything less will lead to frustration and despair in this life.
The dominant message in Enough About Me one of rest and reliance. The author writes, “ … We can really rest – because we are established in Christ. He is in control. And he is good. And he is alive. He always ensures that his will comes to pass for our good and his glory.” This Christ-exalting theme is a sure foundation and is the ultimate antidote for anyone who has grown weary with platitudes and worldly promises.
Enough About Me is a much-needed book, especially for women in the church who are searching for hope and joy in all the wrong places. Jen Oshman is a faithful and reliable guide who offers one answer – the gospel of Jesus Christ. Her wise counsel will benefit readers who find themselves adrift in our postmodern age and help cut through the fog of uncertainty. I trust that Jen’s book will receive a wide readership and benefit many in the days to come.