So the other book that I've thoroughly enjoyed of late is Empty Promises by Pete Wilson. You may remember Pete from a review I wrote on his previous book Plan B on what to do when life doesn't turn out the way you'd planned. When I had the opportunity to review his latest book I jumped at the opportunity. And it did not disappoint. The subtitle of the book is most telling: "The truth about you, your desires, and the lies you're believing." Just makes you want to turn right to the first page, doesn't it?! But do it! The introduction from Rick Warren summarized the book well: "We make the mistake of looking for satisfaction in all the wrong places. That's what this book is about. It uncovers the idols we create in our own hearts when we fail to look to God to meet our deepest needs. These idols of pleasure, prestige, passion, position, popularity, performance, and possessions inevitably betray us and let us down. They are...Empty Promises."
Pete defines idolatry in the opening chapters: "idolatry is when I look to something that does not have God's power to give me what only God has the power and authority to give" (pg. 5).... The real question for any of us is this: Which idol is God's biggest rival in your life?" (pg. 16).... Honestly ask yourself:
- What occupies my mind? What do I spend time daydreaming about?
- Who or what do I tend to be jealous of?
- What do I spend most of my time doing?
- Where does the majority of my money go?" (pg. 21).
Pete then begins to address some of the most "popular" idols in our day in the ensuing chapters: achievement, approval, power, money, religion, beauty, and dreams (aspirations).
Not surprisingly he reminds us that "what we worship shapes who we are" (pg.156).
The truth of what Pete wrote was often too close to home, but I want to live a bold and examined life. Empty Promises gave me some excellent food to chew on for a while.
(Note: Thomas Nelson provided a complimentary copy of the book for an unbiased review)