You Are What You Do: And Six Other Lies – Daniel Im

You Are What You Do: And Six Other Lies about Work, Life, and Love by Daniel Im
Published by B&H Publishing on February 2020
Genres: Non-Fiction, Christian Life
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Things have changed. Have you seen it?
The way that we’ve done things for centuries has been unsettled and unseated. We’re living in a new normal. And while on the surface many of these changes look like the next best thing, there’s actually a complex and fragile web of lies holding it all together:You are what you do. You are what you experience. You are who you know. You are what you know. You are what you own. You are who you raise. You are your past

In You Are What You Do, author and pastor Daniel Im considers these seven lies and the context that causes them to flourish. Through personable stories, research, and pastoral insight, Daniel will show you how to recognize these everyday lies in your life, so that you can discover the truth on the other side. The truth that leads to freedom. The truth that moves you from surviving to thriving. The truth that will unlock a life of purpose, adventure, meaning, and destiny.

The only criticism I have for You Are What You Do: And Six Other Lies About Work, Life, and Love is that shortening the title gives you absolutely the wrong impression. But maybe that’s the idea. You are what you do? I agree. Let me pick that book up. And then you get home and find you’ve been suckered in.

You Are What You Do covers seven lies of life that we tell ourselves in order to construct our identity. Some of them are obvious. Some of them not so much. Ones that obvious for some will not be for others. You may take exception to some, particularly if it’s what you feel gives you a good identity.

I went back and forth on providing a full chapter-by-chapter rundown but decided that, ultimately, you just need to read the book for yourself. Im writes with a conciseness, clarity, and focus that gets straight to the heart of you as a person. At the same time, his research reminds you that you’re not alone and the glimpses into his personal story reassure you that he’s right there with you.

You Are What You Do is borne out of Im’s own experience with success and failure, high times and low times, the good and the bad. Like each of us, he’s been tempted to define himself as each of these things. You feel a real kinship with Im as you journey through the book and discover yourself even as you learn about his own journey.

The seven lies he identifies are:

  1. You are what you do
  2. You are what you experience
  3. You are who you know
  4. You are what you know
  5. You are what you own
  6. You are who you raise
  7. You are your past

And man, I can identify with all of these. Some for good and some for bad. Some I’m glad to identify as a lie; others I want to cling onto. Im recognizes that different individuals will see both positive and negative identifications in each of these areas. So whether it’s a burden or an idol, he challenges us to give it all up and define ourselves in the light of who we are in Christ.

Im’s focus is particularly focused on those in their 20s and 30s for whom nearly every part of live is changing. It’s an era of ending education and beginning a career. Of marriage and children and loosening ties to parents. An era of settling in and having financial security, for some. In other words, Im takes everything that is integral to the Millennial American Dream and crushes it by saying that these things will not bring about fulfillment.

And yeah, he’s right. You Are What You Do calls people to a simpler and more powerful identity, one that rests in Christ. You are already approved and already loved by the one who knew you before time began. And that changes so much about what you do. That’s the point. A beautiful, thought-provoking book, You Are What You Do is a challenge to this new generation to move from insufficient identities into our identity in Christ.