I recently read the book The Vertical Self by Mark Sayers. The basic gist of the book is that there are two ways to focus on how we view ourselves: "Horizontally" (meaning that we look at the world around us to base how we view ourselves) and "Vertically" (meaning that we look to God as our creator who made us in His image to base how we view ourselves). Sayers uses that base to launch into a full examination of how we view ourselves and how we can pull away from "The Horizontal Self" to head towards our "Vertical Self".
I must say that I had a very hard time putting this book down. I loved how Sayers was able to very clearly lay out his concepts of the Vertical and Horizontal self in a way that made it easy to understand for his readers. He also used very clear examples of how we use the messages society has placed in our brain-stores to present ourselves to others. One example that he uses is an encounter he has with two young women who have dressed in a provocative way that are clearly trying to get guys to "check them out" as a means for validation. Sayers' overall point that he dives into very deeply in the book is that this is the wrong idea; rather than looking to society's stereotypes of "Sexy, Cool, and Glam" - we should be looking up (or vertically) to God for guidance on how to present ourselves. It really made me take a look at myself, where my insecurities come from, and put a perspective on how I really am wired/created. The most powerful chapter in the book is also the longest and is summed up in the title of the chapter: "Meeting Your Future Self". Through this chapter, Sayers gives us a pathway to finding what he calls our "True Self" - or ourselves in God's eyes.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who is struggling with self-image, insecurities, pride, or any other skewing of how they see themselves. This book is a strong reminder about how we are really made, created, and grown - in the image of God. This is a reminder that we should never lose sight of as we journey through life.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”