David Lomas begins his first book by asking us, “what is the truest thing about you?”
That’s the defining question that he’ll explore throughout The Truest Thing About You: Identity, Desire, And Why It All Matters. He shares his struggle over identity as he recounts stories from his time working as a barista and as a pastor at the same time. (I can relate: in my first years in the pastorate, I was a YMCA lifeguard, a junior college English professor, a free lance writer, and pastor of a local church!) How was what he did similar to or the same as who he was? How did those two things work together and how do they work against each other?
For Lomas, the book is about asking us to get to a place where we recognize that our career, our work, is not the same thing as our significance. I find myself establishing in my own mind that I want my sons and wife to know who I am without hesitation, and to respect who that person is. That’s what Lomas is pushing for, our identity for ourselves and in God, separated from the tags that others might put on us.
Points are made here that may (or may not) be shocking, that we should all consider.
-There is nothing about us that is 100 percent secure.
-There is nothing about what you have that cannot be taken away from you.
-There is nothing about what you desire that cannot be changed.
All of these things are true, Lomas writes, but he launches into an exploration of the imago dei, the way that we were created by, in, and for community that stands as a major portion of the book. How that identity plays out, and how we live into it, is what Lomas’ thesis drives us toward, with an additional help from the New Testament’s introduction of Jesus as Immanuel (“God with us”) in a book that will challenge readers to think theologically about their relationships, their careers, and their life goals.
Lomas’ debut is challenging but not tricky. The book is accessible but not necessarily as inclined to an entry-level inspection of faith or group discussion. It’ll ask you to consider your values, and encourage you to make sure you’re finding your value in what’s really important.