Being human can be very frustrating. We’re always long on demands but short on time and energy. And so we redouble our efforts, searching for the magical time-management hack that will allow us to cram more life into our waking hours so that we can live the most efficient and productive life possible.

Yet even as we strain against our natural limits, ultimately they cannot (and should not) be overcome, because God designed them for our good. That’s the premise underlying Covenant College theologian Kelly M. Kapic’s latest book, You’re Only Human: How Your Limits Reflect God’s Design and Why That’s Good News. Persuasion podcast cohost Erin Straza spoke with Kapic about the beauty of our human limits and the freedom that comes when we learn to embrace God’s design for a meaningful life.

Most people live with a nagging sense that they aren’t meeting expectations or fulfilling obligations. Yet you propose that God purposefully made us to live within certain limits. Why is there such a gap between our understanding about how God designed us and the expectations we have for ourselves?

I’ve had the conviction for a couple of decades now that Christians, particularly in evangelicalism, have an underdeveloped doctrine of creation. We talk about creation, but normally that is reduced to talking about when and how God made the earth. But we’re missing key ideas, like the reality that God made us as creatures. And the good part about being a creature is we were made to be dependent upon God and, by our very design, also dependent on other people and the earth.

The reality of our belief in God’s creation is found in our very non-creaturely (mis)understanding of his expectations ...

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