Learning to Be You

We all want the confidence that comes from living out of our true identity, but how do we get there? We don’t magically discover our true selves when we reach our twenties. And some of us spend our entire lives feeling like we are living a lie. We can be torn apart by our duplicity or we can become so comfortable with putting on various personas to suit our situation that we don’t even realize we’re doing it. But if we are followers and disciples of Christ, our identity is already decided. What we need to learn is how to understand and embrace it.

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Learning to Be You (PDF)


As my pastor, David consistently nurtures my soul. By reading this book you will find your own soul encouraged and your life infused with purpose and direction. David has most certainly captured the reality of what it means when a person understands that ‘God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life!
— Vonette Bright, cofounder, Campus Crusade for Christ/Cru
I know Dr. Swanson as a colleague and friend. He is one of the most respected leaders in Orlando, known for his pastoral excellence and compassion for those who need love and guidance. This book is riveting. Learning to Be You is personally engaging, intellectually enlightening, and spiritually fulfilling. The book helps us to know ourselves better because it helps us know God better. If you read this book, it will benefit not only you but all those around you.
— Dr. Joel C. Hunter, senior pastor, Northland—A Church Distributed
I remember as a young man wanting to know who I was and what I was destined to do in the world. A wise pastor told me that my ability to relax in considering these questions would depend on my understanding of my relationship to God in Christ Jesus. He pointed me to a passage in Ephesians that sticks with me today: ‘God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure’ (Eph. 1:5 NLT). God wants me to be who I am and what he created me to be. This is the message of David Swanson’s book. He reminds us that like King David when Saul asked him to wear his personal armor to fight Goliath, we cannot do what fits someone else. Living up to our own or others’ unrealistic expectations is exhausting and unfruitful! If we know our Creator in a deep and personal way, we are set free to live our true identify. I am grateful to David for his clear articulation of these important principles in the Christian life. May the reading of this book set you free to be who God created you to be, ultimately reflecting the nature and character of God.
— Bob Creson, president and CEO, Wycliffe Bible Translators USA
David Swanson is a dynamic and creative pastor, true to the gospel and greatly loved by his congregation. I am grateful for David’s influence in the city of Orlando and beyond.
— Steve Douglass, president, Campus Crusade for Christ/Cru
Calvin said that wisdom consists of two parts—the knowledge of God and of ourselves. In Learning to Be You, David Swanson shows us how these are connected. He points us toward wisdom and freedom in Christ.
— Don Sweeting, president, Reformed Theological Seminary