“So much of life comes down to the following three questions,” says Ed Welch: “Who is God? Who am I? Who are these other people?” The answers to those questions reveal what we truly care about and who we trust, and because of that, those answers often aren’t pretty. The good news is, those answers also reveal to us the exact places where God wants to work in our lives, and thus Welch provides us with a workbook to get us started.
Although each question gets its own section, Welch walks us through each of the big three questions together over and over, and as a result turns up more heart-idols than we’d like to deal with. Just one example: “I see resentment that I have toward… more people than I thought. Who am I? I am a god. Who are other people? They live to serve me. Who is God? Someone I hope will leave me alone so I can judge these people and feel good about it. When it comes to resentment, I want to be God.”
It’s a honest process, and certainly for one taking it seriously it’s a hard process. But it’s not an unbearable one. “Don’t be intimidated by the process…” Welch assures us. “The truth is, the more you plunge into your heart, the murkier everything looks. But remember, you are doing this with the God who loves you. He doesn’t love you because you accurately see the false worship in your heart…. As one expression of that love, his Spirit will show you where your desires have led you astray, and the Spirit will lead you back to Jesus Christ.”
The point of all this, he says, is not only to think less of ourselves but to realize that we can never outlove God, and as a result be freed “to love more than you need love.” If we are royalty as the Bible says, we don’t need to strive to be loved; we can just love, secure of our knowledge of who we are in Christ. Everyone we know has the opportunity to become friends and family, if we just stop worrying so much about their perceptions of us and simply be ourselves, and become more and more who we’re created to be in Christ.
The interactive set-up of the book is also very helpful. Throughout, Welch poses questions for the reader to consider, then leaves room for us to answer. In fact, debriefing the chapters in a small-group setting would work well, given this format. All it takes is a group honest enough to let God deal with its failures. As you do so—either individually or as a group—you’ll learn to develop the “rhythm of change” in your lives. Welch makes that process understandable, accessible, and desirable.