It’s no secret that Jen Wilkin is my favourite female Christian author. She writes with such clarity and conviction in a way that is easy to understand and relate to. In her latest book, None Like Him- 10 Ways God Is Different From Us, she does not disappoint.
I can best describe this book as a modern version of The Attributes of God, by A.W. Pink. Jen chooses ten of God’s characteristics; He is Infinite, Incomprehensible, Self-Existent, Self-Sufficient, Eternal, Immutable, Omnipresent, Omniscient, Omnipotent, and Sovereign. Then she gives a description not only of how God displays these characteristics, but also how we as humans, do not. We are so limited in our abilities, yet we still strive to be the god of our own lives, and at times, the lives of others. This book cuts to the heart of the matter and reveals our sinfulness in our desire and attempts to be like God, rather than trusting in the One who IS God.
I read one chapter a night, which was not easy, as I wanted to sit and read the book from front to back in one sitting. As it teaches such powerful truths, I felt I needed to take the time to chew over it. Each night as I read a chapter, I ended with a heartfelt cry of repentance to the Lord, and a conviction to address the sin which was daily revealed to me. What I found really confronting was behaviours I have which I did not even recognise were sinful. By comparing our human nature to that of God, I had to accept that not only am I incredibly lacking, but I am inherently sinful. Jen highlights over and over, that as humans, we try to take on God’s attributes ourselves; we see ourselves as incomprehensible when in fact we are entirely known by God. She writes, “I want to believe I am the special case, the exception to every rule, the possessor of an extenuating circumstance that others are not aware of. When correction is offered to me, I tell myself that it is offered in error. If people really knew me, they would know that they are wrong to find fault.” Yet, “it may feel good to be quick to diagnose my neighbour’s faults and prescribe a course of treatment, but my desperately wicked heart deceives me with the lie that I have any skill to do so.” Ouch. She hits the nail on the head repeatedly. When we are compared to the perfection and majesty of God, only then can we see how pathetic and broken we are. Instead, we compare ourselves to our perception of others and of course, we are always better in our own eyes.
I found such sweet relief in the chapter, Eternal. God is eternal, I am not. God lives in and outside of time, He is unbound by it. And all our days are numbered by Him. Yet we think we are eternal, we’ll always have tomorrow, even though tomorrow is never promised. In this chapter Jen encourages the reader to live in the present. May sound easy, but very few of us do this. We either live in the past, unable to get past a better time, or a deep hurt, or we live in the future; in sinful anticipation or anxiety. This is me. I always live for the next stage in my life; when I’ll retire, when my husband and I can travel and spend more time together, when we’ve paid off our mortgage. And this thinking is robbing me of today, and the gifts and blessings that God gives me each and every day. I didn’t even realise how sinful my thinking was, and how I was seeing myself as eternal, as being like God. Learning this about myself has released me of the waiting for tomorrow, and is helping me focus on today. Each and every chapter of None Like Him revealed sin in my life I was unaware of, and the need for me to repent of it and live a life of obedience to the Lord, not my flesh.
None Like Him is a book worth reading. It’s hard confronting our sin and failings, but it is a necessity. This book is not just about revealing sin, far from it; it is encouraging, heart-warming, and in the usual Jen Wilkin style, it’s hilarious in parts. Jen adds life experiences, personal reflection, and a deep understanding of the Bible. Every chapter points to the Lord, encouraging us to press in deeper to Him, to keep our eyes on Him, and to trust Him. At the end of each chapter there are Scriptures to meditate on, and reflection questions to drive the points a bit deeper. In essence, this book will encourage you to change your thinking, habits, and beliefs, drawing you even closer to the One who knows you and loves you intimately.
“We must recover the truth that was obscured by the Serpent: rather than being like God in his unlimited divinity, we are to be like God in our limited humanity. We are capable of bearing his image as we were intended only when we embrace our limits. Image-bearing means becoming fully human, not becoming divine. It means reflecting as a limited being the perfections of a limitless God.” Pg 25
None Like Him: 10 Ways God is Different from Us (and Why That’s a Good Thing)
Find it at The Wandering Bookseller