The Need for Embracing Obscurity

As promised (though with a week’s delay), today I begin blogging through the book .  This will only take up one post per week and I will be writing in such a way that you will be able to benefit even if you never pick up the book.

The reason I chose this book is because I, like the author, believe that Christians need to stop striving to make a name for themselves and instead draw each other and the world to the glory of God’s name.  I need to hear this message a thousand times over and then some, so my prayer is that my journey through repentance will be yours as well.

In the Introduction, the author, whose pen name is Anonymous tells us why it was confirmed to him that he needed to keep his name hidden for this project:

After some divine arm-twisting, Embracing Obscurity-and anonymity-was born.  Apart from the the surprisingly difficult logistics of writing anonymously (like keeping my own family in the dark), my flesh has been as rebellious as Terrell Owens at a press conference.  Old sins die hard.  I’ve found myself imagining scenarios in which I get some sort of glory for the work involved in these pages: “accidental” discoveries, best sellers’ lists-even one daydream in which I was discovered by a respected mentor and rewarded on my deathbed.  My pride evidently knows no bounds.

One hand, it’s refreshing to read that someone else struggles with ridiculous narcissistic fantasies like me, but on the other hand, it’s devastating because as C.J. Mahaney has written, pride is essentially “contending with God for supremacy” (from his book, Humility).  When we’re honest about our pride as Anonymous has been, it’s not hard to understand why the Bible tells us “God opposes the proud” (James 4:6).  But we cannot forget the second half of this verse which says, “but (God) gives grace to the humble.”  The desire behind this book is that Christians will “find and embrace the unsurpassable joy, freedom, and newfound purpose to be had in embracing obscurity.”

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About Brent Osterberg

Ransomed sinner, husband to Keri, father to the kiddos three, associate pastor at Calvary Bible Church in Fort Worth, TX, and lover of most things epic. View all posts by Brent Osterberg

One response to “The Need for Embracing Obscurity

  • Ben Whiting

    It’s tempting to think there’s a “magic bullet” out there–that if I just make this commitment, the struggle will be over. This is a great example of the reality that the internal struggle often continues even if you put the external struggle out of reach.

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