Friday, December 16, 2011

Die to a Self-centered Life

In Die Young, Hayley and Michael DiMarco make a good case for turning your life upside down. Die to live more fully. The self-centered life is a kind of death. Once you die to that life as Hayley points out: worry, stress and doubt disappear and you find peace. Dying to your pleasure centered existence leaves the way open to live as Jesus intended.

This is a very important book. It points out how much of our unhappiness is due to the selfish lives we live. My favorite chapter is about stuff. How many of us feel trapped by all the things we have and even more by the things we want. Michael confesses that he loves stuff and uses it as a drug. Buying is supposed to make you feel better, but in the end you're left with stuff. Give up your attachment to things and you have more peace, more time for family, and less stress. I thought that chapter rang with truth.

I found the last two chapters more of a stretch. The book makes an excellent case for submission to God and Jesus Christ. “Thy will be done.” is an extremely powerful prayer. Submission to one's husband, as opposed to defiance, is clearly a good thing, but I felt the discussion was pushing the concept. Cooperation might be a better concept in today's world than submission.

Likewise I found the last chapter on confession rather strained. Confession is clearly a good thing. However, even Michael, in his confession, suggests that building a culture where confession is encouraged is difficult. I think the book makes a laudable try at expressing the importance of confession, but I don't think the answer is clear about how to implement it.

I recommend this book. The confessions of Hayley and Michael that accompany the text are particularly helpful in illuminating the discussion. It makes the book very human.