On Sunday mornings we strive to blend in with the rest of the scrubbed faces in the chairs in the auditorium. We dress nice, but not too nice so we’re not accused of being flashy. We put a smile on our face, not even hinting that there might be problems in our lives. We blend in, masking our individuality because we’re afraid of what others will say if they discover the real you.
We’re afraid because we don’t know who we are ourselves.
Mark Batterson’s new book Soulprint delves into the process of peeling back the layers of makeup that we’ve applied to make ourselves presentable to the world. Washing them away, Batterson encourages us to stand bare before God and to take our identity cues from the hands that formed us rather than the false messages we get from the world.
Using the victories and failures of King David as cairns around which to center his discussions, Mark encourages us to examine ourselves in light of how absolutely unique we are in God’s creation. Just as the shepherd David was the only giant slayer on the battlefield that fateful day, God has created in each of us a singular personality with a purpose that only we can accomplish.
The examination of David’s humility as he sheds worldly trappings to worship with abandon and zero concern for the opinions of those around him is the highlight of the book. To be so fully devoted to God that the world falls away in importance has always been my prayer, but vestiges of the fallen life remain. They remind me not to lift my hands too high, not to allow my foibles to be known, to keep the happy face required in church. I long to dance in worship.
Pastor Batterson has done a fine job with this volume. Men’s groups will be especially well served by centering a study around this and the applicable scriptures that tell David’s story. If only a small percentage of men can shed the masks they wear in our communities, the Church and world will never be the same.
I’m grateful to Multnomah books who provided this copy for review.