Published by Good Book Company on September 1, 2022
Genres: Non-Fiction, Christian Life
Find your self-worth and contentment in Christ and live out his plan for your life.
We are all looking for significance and meaning in our lives. The world tells us that this comes from dreaming big, achieving personal success and making a big impact. But the Bible says that self-worth is found in knowing our Creator, and contentment is found in discovering his purpose for our lives.
This book reminds us that when we know Jesus, we are free from the world’s definition of success. We can listen to God’s word and direct our dreams towards the things that he says matter most, even if they are small and unimpressive in the world’s eyes.
Celebrate the dreams God has for us: serving others, investing in individuals and living faithfully. Although these things seem small, their impact will be bigger, and their rewards will be better, than anything we could dream for ourselves.
This encouraging book pushes back against cultural pressures to dream big dreams, achieve amazing goals, and impress everyone. Seth Lewis starts out by saying that he’s nobody you’ve ever heard of, but that saying you’re ordinary shouldn’t be an admission of failure. He writes about how small we all are in the scheme of the universe, no matter how impressive we are in comparison to others, and he encourages his readers to locate themselves within God’s story instead of trying to be the hero of their own. He emphasizes that when we know that our value comes from God, not from our accomplishments, we can accept ourselves and care for others in entirely new ways.
However, even though Lewis pushes back against the pressures people experience in the secular world and in the church to become Somebody, he doesn’t denigrate people who gain renown and are successful by worldly standards. Rather, he contrasts inspiring anecdotes from his family history, showing that even though his great-grandfather’s ministry to the homeless at the YMCA and his grandfather’s work as a quality control expert for Sears were wildly different by worldly standards, both men devoted themselves to honoring God and caring for the good of others in their day-to-day work and personal lives. Instead of suggesting that you’re more worthy if you’re lowly in the world’s eyes, Lewis shows that no matter what you do or how people perceive you, you can dream “small dreams” for the good of everyone you come into contact with.
Dream Small: The Secret Power of the Ordinary Christian Life is a powerful corrective to general celebrity culture and misguided pressures in the church. Lewis shows that you don’t have to do Extraordinary Things for God by other people’s standards to faithfully follow Him, and that your impact on other people’s lives depends on your willingness to show up in ordinary ways, day after day. Although none of these ideas were new to me, I found them especially well-expressed here, and reading this encouraged me greatly. I would recommend this short, readable book to both teens and adults.