Review: The Search for Significance, by Robert S. McGee

The Search for Significance, by Robert S. McGee (Thomas Nelson, 1998, 2003)

“Seeing your true worth through God’s eyes” – a subtitle like that shows why this book would benefit most Christians worldwide. And with over two million copies in print, the demand is clearly there.

The introduction explains, “This book focuses on how our thoughts affect our emotional, relational, and spiritual development.” (p. x) It’s aimed at everyday Christians who may know the truths of Scripture but not know how to “apply God’s solutions to your search for significance.” (p. 6)

Through practical biblical teaching and illustrated by case studies, author Robert S. McGee aims to teach readers that “Our true value is based not on our behaviour or the approval of others but on what God’s Word says is true of us.” (p. 19)

That’s easy to say, but hard to internalize at the deepest level. Robert McGee simplifies the issue to suggest our problems rise from believing this basic lie:

Self-Worth = Performance + Others’ Opinions

And don’t most of us believe it, at least in part?

Is your life inhibited by fear of failure? Fear of rejection? Fear of punishment, or a need to blame others? Shame?

I didn’t realize how much these things affected me until I did the simple self-tests and began applying God’s truth instead of accepting the devil’s lies.

The Search for Significance explores the consequences of believing the false self-worth equation above, and most importantly it offers God’s perspective from His Word, which we can choose to believe instead. With practice, in time, we can replace the lies with truth.

This is one of the most liberating books I’ve read in a long time. My copy is filled with sticky notes highlighting key passages. I have the revised and expanded book and workbook in one volume, a 337-page trade paperback. The first half is the teaching, and the second has questions for reflection and/or discussion to complement each chapter.

Robert McGee has extensive background in counselling, and he’s quick to clarify that the book’s scope doesn’t include problems or disorders tied to physiological issues, which require extra help. Many of us, however, will benefit from a prayerful reading and even from taking this journey in company with a trusted friend.

You can watch a two-part video on relationships and our search for significance at the McGee family’s ministry site, Rapha Resources.

[Review copy from my personal library, and it’s a keeper.]

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