1. It is part of the human condition to wonder where we fit in the big scheme of things, who we are and what we are worth. Are we a chance accumulation of random chemicals or something more? Do you agree with that basic assumption?
2. Our default response to this big question is to ask others to resolve it for us by offering (or withholding) their approval and recognition but this can lead to a treadmill of striving and approval addiction. Do you identify with this? Where do you encounter it at work, society, in the church?
3. I argue that the self esteem movement is partly correct in it’s diagnosis of the human condition: a healthy sense of self-worth can't be contingent upon others. But what does self-esteem ideology offer in its place? And why doesn't it work?
4. Why do we find it so hard simply to assert our own worth? What cultural and psychological trends are helping to drive our obsession with pursuing status and self-worth?
5. I argue that our sense of worth needs to be rooted in a ‘thicker’ self-concept capable of giving meaning and purpose. For Christians, this 'thicker' identity is found in the biblical teaching that we are made in the image of God and given a new identity 'In Christ'. What difference should this make to the way we think about our worth and value?
6. But what about people who don't hold to the Christian worldview - can they discover a 'thicker' identity that embodies purpose and meaning too? I think they can. But none have the motivating potential of the Christian worldview. What do you think?
7. Our identity as divine 'image-bearers' should shape our achievements and call us into work. But achievement needs to be the outworking of our fundamental identity, never the basis for it. So in chapter 11 I say - ‘rate the achievement and not the person'. How would you put that into practice in your life?
8. How should we motivate our kids? What’s wrong with telling them they are special? Is 'unique' a better expression? Why? How should we give feedback and how receive it ourselves as adults?
9. Do you agree that we sometimes present the gospel as just another way of feeling good about ourselves? What’s the danger in that? Is it entirely wrong?