“Everybody’s Normal Till You Get To Know Them” – my book review

The Thought-Provoker John Ortberg

everybodys_normal_till_you_get_to_know_themThe book “Everybody’s Normal Till You Get To Know Them” is written by a winsome author, John Ortberg who has a gift for story-telling.  He is an evangelical christian wordsmith and an orator. He inculcates around how a belief in Jesus Christ can have an influence in day-to-day lives with God. He has added an excellent amount of  humour to preoccupy the readers and to project the message perfectly.

We all want to look normal to think of ourselves as normal but the writer of scripture insists that no one is totally normal not at least as God defines normal. Whosoever we are with all the faults and defects that make us in need of mercy from God. Similarly we need to be sympathetic with others and accept them how they are.

Relationships & Community

The author has emphasized on the word “community” which plays a significant role in providing contentedness, encouragement, strength and advancement. But our experience with the community is difficult. All the sinful acts, unjust behaviour with others isn’t normal in God’s definition. The author interrogates in the book how can people get close to each other without giving agony?

In “Everybody is normal till you get to know them” he zooms in on how to build up strong and healthy relationships. Moreover, he mentions that conflicts are inevitable in every relation and people need to know how to negotiate with it rationally. He focuses on being real, authentic and then observe the unexpected perks. He enlightens how to study people and how to show empathy towards them.

The Good Bad Book

All have sinned and have fallen short of the glory of God. This explains the very important aspect of opening pages of the Good Book. One of the most ironic remarks of the bible from time to time is when someone says it is a book of pious stained glass characters who do not reflect the real world.  Have you ever noticed how many messed up families around in Genesis? The marriages were devastating. Polygamy was introduced into this world.

Why does the writer of Genesis includes all this stuff?

There is a very cardinal reason, the writer’s scripture is trying to establish a deep physiological truth. He keeps on mentioning that everybody is weird. Human beings have habits that  can’t be controlled, past deeds that can’t be undid, and flaws that can’t be corrected. This is the cast of characters God has to work with. Everyone of us pretends to be healthier and kinder than we really are. We are engaged in what might be called as parity management.


There were a few contra points in this book. Concubinage form of a relationship was quite normal among families. Fathers and sons had the same concubines. But throughout the book, the author has linked his lessons with biblical stories to convey his points about relationships efficiently and effectively.

If you want to refine your relationships with your partners, co-workers, family, and with people you meet everyday then this book is a must read. At the end of every chapter, a series of discussion questions are given that opens a room for interaction among groups or reflects the person individually.

You will start valuing others and of course make a strongest association with God, who embraces us just the way we are with all the flaws.

I give “Everybody’s Normal Till You Get To Know Them” 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it.

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