Regardless of what you may have been taught, all men and women are not created equal. Yes, we all have equal value, but we don’t all have an identical purpose or destiny. Just as each of us has a unique set of fingerprints to identify who we are physically, God also designed us with an individual inner print to distinguish who --- and whose --- we are, spiritually. This is the basis for Pastor Mark Batterson’s new book, SOULPRINT.
Pastor Mark takes us back to several critical moments in the life of David: defeating Goliath, choosing not to kill King Saul when he had the chance, dancing naked and unashamed before the Lord, and David’s adultery with Bathsheba. He shows how each instance clearly defined who David was and how the worst circumstances produced the best character. He challenges us to embrace our setbacks because, almost without fail, it is those moments that result in the greatest growth.
As quoted in the book from Acts 13:33, “When David had served God’s purpose in his generation, he fell asleep.” This scripture says it all. Each one of us has a divine purpose to fulfill within our own generation. Our destiny is already in place; it’s just up to us to unearth it. Batterson claims that this book serves as a sort of internal GPS. That it not only will help you determine who you are, but will also provide you with the freedom of discovering who you’re not. And that is exactly what SOULPRINT achieves.
Although a relatively short book, a lot is unpacked within these pages. Divided into five sections, we first learn how to develop a holy confidence that trusts God to take control instead of trying to make everything happen on our own. The next section prompts us to think about the past and how our memories have shaped us into who we are today. The third section invites us to look into our hearts and examine our integrity. Batterson asks us to consider who we are living to please: God or man. Section four encourages us to be transparent and genuine and to laugh at ourselves along the way. Finally, in section five, we learn that our sin does not define who we are. It ends with the following quote by the author: “If you’re still breathing, it means that God isn’t finished with you yet. He is still chipping and chiseling. He is still remodeling you into His image. He is still setting the captive free and creating the unique masterpiece that is you.”
It’s easy to see why 70% of Pastor Mark’s church (National Community Church in Washington, D.C.) is made up of members in their 20s. Using various illustrations, as well as plenty of examples from his own life, Batterson’s narrative writing style makes this an engaging read. His spiritual insight, while profound, is presented in an easy-to-understand, straightforward manner with which we can all relate. Perhaps the most appealing factor is his undeniable passion for both God and people. His energy and enthusiasm shines through every page.
Included at the end of the book are several pages of discussion questions. This is where readers can revisit each section and reflect on how it pertains to their own lives. These questions can be used for individual study or as prompts for group discussion.
SOULPRINT is a book for the keepsake shelf. Be sure to have a highlighter handy, as you’ll almost certainly want to refer back to it again and again. By meditating on the points made on these pages, you’ll be well on your way to discovering your soulprint and identifying the unique purpose God created you to fulfill.
Reviewed by Lynda Schab on January 18, 2011