They do not belong to this world any more than I do. Make them holy by your truth; teach them your word, which is truth. Just as you sent me into the world, I am sending them into the world. And I give myself as a holy sacrifice for them so they can be made holy by your truth. (John 17:16-19)
When I lived in Chicago, I despised the traffic on Lake Shore Drive going to and from work. I disliked it on the way home a little less, though, because it gave me a chance to listen to Hugh Hewitt on WLS 890 AM. If you’re not familiar with him, Hugh Hewitt is a law professor, broadcast journalist, and author. Most of what he talks about is politics, and I should note for my more liberal readers that he’s pretty conservative in his political columns. But having said that, Hugh Hewitt took a break awhile back from talking about politics to write what I consider a very valuable book called, In But Not Of: A Guide to Christian Ambition and the Desire to Influence the World.
This is not a book about political ambitions, and it doesn’t contain much, if any, political subject matter. Instead it addresses a fascinating topic – how do Christians that want to change the world approach gaining influence in a way that is God-honoring? Geared at people as young as high-school students, In, But Not Of includes a great deal of useful advice. It includes sections with titles like, “Managing your flaws”, “Find Interesting People” and “Tattoos: Don’t.”
This is not a deeply theological book, and there are a few issues that I’d gladly debate with Mr. Hewitt, but it’s valuable is in its practicality. I know of few books dealing with this important topic, and I think Hewitt’s efforts have created an insightful, thought-provoking resource. It’s relevant, interesting, and does a good job of putting Godly boundaries on ambition. While reminding us that influential Chrisitans can make an enormous positive impact on the world (think Joseph, Solomon, Nehemiah, etc.) it highlights many of the modern-day traps that can derail those with the best of intentions. If you know a young business person with their eyes set on an ambitious career, consider giving them In, But Not Of.