Our culture radically prizes the individual in the way we choose to define or redefine who we think we are. Jen Wilkin, in ten chapters, takes an easy-to-read and conversational approach to explain ten attributes of God’s character and shows how we do not possess these attributes. She also explains why this is actually good for us. Jen Wilkin is a writer, Bible teacher for women, and speaker. While Jen’s choice of Proverbs 31:30 as her introductory verse and her application of Psalm 139 to women at the end of the book demonstrates an intention to speak to a female audience, the main content of the book is germane to men and women alike.
In every chapter, Jen notes first our own limitations, drawing the contrast between ourselves and our glorious God, to highlight each attribute, one per chapter. At the end of each chapter, she invites the reader to meditate on several Scripture verses related to that attribute and then she gives several questions for reflection. These allow the reader to personally engage with the teaching and to consider one’s own limitations in light of God’s limitlessness. How can this bring Him glory? How can this help one live in better relationship with others? In each chapter, the questions will lead the reader to consider both their vertical relationship with God as well as their horizontal relationship with others. Then she directs the reader in things to consider for prayer regarding that attribute. This format is so helpful to use for a quiet time devotional in addition to one’s regular Bible reading plan. Jen’s desire is similar to that of the faithful writers who have gone before her: “How should the knowledge that God is ___________ change the way I live?”
I think this book is also an excellent choice to read with someone with whom you are in a discipling relationship. I have found it helpful as well to share with people who are seeking the Lord, and with those with whom I am sharing the gospel. This book is valuable because it highlights for the seeker who we are, as well as who we are not, and inspires awe in our great God.
God’s Limitlessness and Our Limits
Jen brings conviction as she explains how we attempt to live as though we are limitless, as though we possess these attributes that only the Almighty could ever possess. One example is in our desire for knowing, our desire for information. We want knowledge about others, about ourselves, about our children, actually about everything. We love the internet with its unlimited access to all information instantly. The problem with all of this is that more information does not bring us more peace and sometimes there are times we should not know everything. Some information is not for us to manage. An unhealthy interest in the affairs of others is called meddling and 1 Peter 4:15 ranks it alongside murder and theft. Only God is all-knowing. Only God is omniscient. Casting all our anxieties on God, rather than on the internet, leads to contentment.
Another example of how we seek to be like our limitless God is in the sadness we feel about changes to things we believed to be unchanging. We are ascribing to these God’s character quality of immutability. He alone is unchanging. When we deny that we ourselves can’t change from our sinful patterns of behavior we ascribe immutability to ourselves.
In Awe of Our God
So in every chapter, Jen demonstrates how God’s character establishes order to the universe and to our lives. It is at once both convicting and comforting to recognize. She ends every chapter with the grace of the gospel and the understanding that while we desire to share these qualities with God, He is using them on behalf of all who trust Christ for salvation.
For those who might think the book is short on comfort and long on conviction, Jen shares that our problem is not in lacking self-worth, it is that we lack awe. She closes with Psalm 139, which turns us instead to look at God and then to look outward towards others and towards creation. We see we are at once insignificant in the big scheme and at the same time so very significant to Him. This is where we gain self-worth: understanding who we are, and who we are not. Real comfort is found only in the truth of who He is. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. Jen Wilkin’s insightful and readable applied theology book will turn your gaze towards God. There is simply None Like Him.