In 2009, Seattle pastor Eugene Cho and his wife, Minhee, founded One Day’s Wages—a grassroots movement aimed at alleviating extreme poverty around the world. His book Overrated is in part a behind-the-scenes look at the convictions and issues that led to this organization’s creation and that drive its work today. While the book is deeply personal, it is a call for all followers of Christ to examine the attitudes and actions that arise as we attempt to impact the world for the better.
Working from Scripture, his own experiences, and the words of other ministry leaders, Cho challenges readers with examples of how efforts to help those in need can sometimes be ineffective in addressing the core causes of poverty and even harmful to those we are seeking to help. He also shares inspiring examples of people using their creativity and generosity to bring about lasting change.
Cho’s tone is conversational, even confessional, as he offers up what he has learned through coming alongside nonprofit professionals and the very people hurting as a result of systemic injustice. His voice flashes with humor without straying into flippancy, which helps him to carry even the hard stories and difficult facts graciously. Even when those stories and facts are convicting, they are also encouraging in that they help us serve better.
In an era of quick-click charity, Cho emphasizes cultivating a heart of justice out of a deep calling rather than an “emotional idea” by “tak[ing] more time to listen, pray, and allow the injustices of the world to break us in lasting ways, as opposed to wanting to immediately make an impact.” Perhaps this is one of the most powerful takeaways for readers. (Banner review)