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Your Magnificent Chooser {A Review}

Your Magnificent Chooser is the title of a book written by John Ortberg and illustrated by Robert dunn. There is a note to parents at the front of the book that is essential to understanding the premise of the book. Had I read the book without reading the note, I’m pretty sure I would've been a bit lost.

Your Magnificent Chooser
By John Ortberg

Within the note to the parents, Ortberg explains that we all have a will and in the book, he is calling the will a person’s “Chooser.” This is the part of us responsible for telling us to play with this friend or that, to take a nap or read, to build a pretend fort or watch T.V.  Ortberg refers to Genesis 1:26 where God gave human beings the will to exercise dominion. He also says:

“Each of us has a little kingdom—that sphere where our choices make a difference. We can say yes and no; we can create and decide. It’s this core, God-given capacity that I call a “Chooser” in this book. The shaping and training of the will—helping it to be strong and powerful in the service of the good—is one of the most important and most challenging tasks on earth. The reason this is such a challenge is because when your child was a baby, your will was always in charge. With a newborn, you can make all the choices to keep them safe and warm and fed and loved. But every day, your child’s will gets a little more developed. Every day, your will must die a little. It’s part of the long good-bye that begins so soon, that deepens on the first day of kindergarten and the first day of college.”

This children’s book goes on to explain how your Chooser goes with you everywhere. The pictures are soft and sweet. The illustrator portrays the Chooser kind of like a fuzzy balloon. The pages show various children with their Choosers being happy, sad, content and even angry.

The book shows two Choosers colliding and explains that it is a choice to be angry and a choice to be kind again. I think this is valuable information for kids. So often, I hear my own kids say something like, “She made me angry!” I have to speak the truth to my sweet child that no one makes us angry— it is a choice we make to be angry or kind.

Here are some pictures from the book.

I was a little confused when one of the pages in the middle of the book talked about our child’s Chooser being “the best.” Because at the end of the book, the author explains that “God’s Chooser works better than yours or mine could.” Perhaps the author was trying to say that it is good to exercise our own Chooser because we need to learn how to make our own good choices. Our Chooser is better than having our friend’s Chooser because we don’t need to make choices for our friend, just for ourselves. I’m not sure, I just found this verbiage to be a little conflicting, but it could allow for some good conversation with the kids on being good at making their own choices.

I’ve never seen a children’s book on this subject so I think it is valuable content to discuss with kids. I wasn’t a fan of Ortberg’s reference of babies as “blobs” in the parent note.  I do appreciate that there are threads of obedience, compliance, and maturing that flow through the book. I also value that the book says, “God knows about choosing up close and firsthand for He has a Chooser—the best in the land!”

The book keeps things on a level that children can understand, at the same time I think the author leaves ample room for parents to discuss the Holy Spirit and God’s will which would need to be carefully tweaked to each family’s biblical view on those subjects.

Thinking about choices a little differently today and wondering what color my fuzzy Chooser would be if it was in this book,

Lindsey Feldpausch

Discosure: This is a sponsored post. Opinions are 100% my own.

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