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Book Review – Who You Are When No One’s Looking

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From the time we are young children we are taught to behave ourselves in public. We quickly learn what behaviour is and is not acceptable when the eyes of our families and friends are on us. But who we are in public is not an accurate guage of our character. Our true character is shown when we are alone and no one is looking. It is at these times that we display our true colours.

In Who You Are When No One’s Looking, Bill Hybels outlines several character traits that he believes are becoming endangered in our culture and outlines ways we can incorporate these traits into our lives. The traits he focuses on are courage, discipline, vision, endurance and love. Love is so important that he dedicates half of the book to it, dividing it into several kinds of love, namely tender love, tough love, sacrificial love and radical love.

Though this book does not arrive at any ground-shaking conclusions, it is well worth reading and would make a fantastic 10-part Bible study. My only real complaint would be a few sentences that undermine Reformed theology (“God loves prisoners, homosexuals and bag ladies as much as he loves stock brokers, dental students and seminarians.)” (p. 62) Of course such beliefs are commonplace in the evangelical world and, frankly, not worth getting too upset about.

Title: Who You Are When No One’s Looking
Author: Bill Hybels
Published: 1987

Key Words:

  • Character
  • Perseverence
  • Christian Living

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