InterVarsity Press, 232 Pages
You Are Not Your Own is a book that will challenge you, bless you and maybe even change you — if you wish to make that change. Author Alan Noble makes it clear from the start: this is not self-help. He lays out the truth and we can do with the information what we will. Noble describes what our lives look like when we are our own and belong solely to ourselves. It is an endless cycle of confusion and uncertainty because if we belong to ourselves, we must ask: Where do our morals come from? How do we justify our actions? How do we choose a life path in a competition-driven society? How do we react to society encouraging us to be self-made and to constantly self-improve? How do we handle crippling anxieties and depression? Noble addresses these questions and gives examples of this reality before breathing a sigh of relief, saying, “Thank God we are not our own.”
Our society often assumes that if we are not entirely our own, we are victims of “slavery and control” — if we believe this, we can be disheartened or even fearful. Noble rejects this assumption, attributing it to our past experiences with control, the government, the patriarchy, etc. We are not our own because we belong to God, and that truth should bring us comfort.
This is not the self-help book that people might expect. Instead, it fills readers with knowledge and perspective, making it the perfect book for a college ministry group or a book club. College students and other young adults are a large part of the population of humans at risk for feeling confused, lost and meaningless, which is heightened by the pressure they feel to make only the right decisions. This book can begin a conversation about why they feel like they do, what could happen if they remain in that downward spiral and how they can change for the better if they live as though they belong to God.
You Are Not Your Own takes a non-traditional approach to living in our world – where we often see the mindset of belonging solely to oneself as self-actualizing – Noble’s alternative is shocking, eye-opening and lights a fire inside you! He does not offer easy answers or ten steps to living a life that belongs to God. Instead, he paints a picture of what life looks like when you belong only to yourself and contrasts that with what it means to live a life that belongs to God. Noble offers his readers the knowledge and leaves the choice up to them.
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Abby Asencio is currently a senior at the University of the Ozarks and is studying English. In the moments that she can break away from studying and writing essays, she enjoys baking and snuggling with her dog.