Overrated: Are We More in Love with the Idea of Changing the World Than Actually Changing the World?

Overrated: Are We More in Love with the Idea of Changing the World Than Actually Changing the World?

by Eugene Cho

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Overview


Many people today talk about justice but are they living justly? They want to change the world but are they being changed themselves?

Eugene Cho has a confession: "I like to talk about changing the world but I don't really like to do what it takes." If this is true of the man who founded the One Day's Wages global antipoverty movement, then what must it take to act on one's ideals? Cho does not doubt the sincerity of those who want to change the world. But he fears that today's wealth of resources and opportunities could be creating "the most overrated generation in history. We have access to so much but end up doing so little."

He came to see that he, too, was overrated. As Christians, Cho writes, "our calling is not simply to change the world but to be changed ourselves." In Overrated, Cho shows that it is possible to move from talk to action.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780781411127
Publisher: David C Cook
Publication date: 09/01/2014
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 240
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author


Eugene Cho is the founder of One Day's Wages, a movement working to alleviate extreme global poverty. He is the founder and senior pastor of Quest Church, an urban, multicultural and multigenerational church in Seattle, Washington, where he lives with his family. Cho has been covered in various media including NPR, New York Times, and Seattle Times.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments 11

Foreword Donald Miller 13

Introduction 15

Chapter 1 Couch Surfing: Our Story 19

Chapter 2 Why We Do Justice 33

Chapter 3 The Tension of Upward Mobility: We Are Blessed 53

Chapter 4 Shut Up, Listen, and Pray 79

Chapter 5 Be Tenacious! 109

Chapter 6 Asking the Hard Questions: Self-Examination 133

Chapter 7 Having More Depth Than 140 Characters: Be an Expert 153

Chapter 8 Don't Ask Others to Do What You're Not Willing to Do Yourself 171

Chapter 9 The Irony of Doing Justice … Unjustly 189

Chapter 10 The Best Part of Wanting to Change the World 221

Notes 231

What People are Saying About This

Judah Smith


"I am so grateful for Eugene Cho and his passion to show Jesus's love to a needy world in tangible, practical ways. His message is relevant and challenging. This book will inspire you to help establish authentic justice in society today."

Ann Voskamp


"When you're done talking about the gospel and are ready for your walking to be the gospel: Start here. I needed this book."

Jim Wallis


"Eugene Cho asks—and answers—a question that everyone who seeks to live out their faith in public at some point asks: Am I more interested in the idea of changing the world than actually doing it? Overrated wrestles with this question with Eugene's signature humor and grace. I recommend it for anyone who wants to authentically live their faith in public—to actually do what we say we believe in."

Scott Harrison


"There are very few people I meet who are willing to live out their convictions with the sincerity, humility, commitment, and sacrifice that Eugene Cho has shown. This book challenges us all to bring dignity forth through our storytelling and remember that the work we do is not about us, and never has been."

Louie Giglio


"A gutsy and gritty exposé on the motives of a generation in love with the idea of saving the world, Overrated is a necessary exercise for all who desire to truly be a part of the change God wants to bring to humanity. I love justice, and I seek compassion for all, but as Pastor Cho so vividly unfolds, I first must allow the transforming power of the gospel to invade my heart. This book is real, personal, necessary, and a must-read, so we can all continue on the path toward justice for all."

Lynn Hybels


"I intended to scan Overrated and write a quick endorsement because I like Eugene. But I couldn't help myself. I read every word and pondered what I read. Eugene's questions became mine: I love justice, but do I actually live justly? Amy I committed and disciplined enough to become an expert about causes and issues I care about? Is my activism smart? Is it grounded in prayerfulness? Do I incarnate the gospel in such a way that I compel people toward Christ? Overrated challenged and chastised me, inspired and energized me. I highly recommend it."

Dr. John M. Perkins


"I encourage all believers to read Overrated. It lays a course for how we much proceed as humble but faithful justice leaders in an unjust world."

Soong-Chan Rah


"At this moment in church history, the pursuit of God's justice has been restored to its rightful place of importance as a critical task of the church. However, this resurgence may have a price in the engagement of ministries of mercy as self-aggrandizing acts. In Overrated, Eugene Cho offers an honest and necessary confession on behalf of the church. Through powerful and enlightening stories, Eugene Cho offers a timely reminder of the cost of discipleship in the pursuit of God's work of justice."

Shane Claiborne


"It can be fashionable to talk about the poor but not as fashionable to talk to the poor. It may be popular to talk about injustice and still not know any victims of injustice. But we will never make poverty history until we make poverty personal. Eugene Cho shatters all our hipster coffee-shop talk of justice and dares you to dive into the trenches and do something real with your life. Talking about changing the world has never changed the world any more than talking about CPR has ever saved anyone's life. Eugene reminds us that the revolution has to be lived."

Rich Stearns


"True justice begins in our own hearts. It is small and personal before it is world changing. We need to take Pastor Cho's message to heart."

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Overrated: Are We More in Love with the Idea of Changing the World, Than Actually Changing the World? 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Joye95 More than 1 year ago
One of the best books I’ve read lately. In his book, Overrated, Eugene Cho asks the tough question “Are we more in love with the idea of changing the world than actually changing the world?”. In a generation moved by social media and social injustice are we simply moved by the idea of being world changers rather than actually doing something about it? Recently there was a movement on Facebook to raise money and awareness for ALS by challenging others to the ice-bucket challenge. Was this just a fad, feel-good movement or did it actually make a difference? We as society tend to jump into being solution providers to donating to charities locally and internationally but that may not be the right answer according to Cho. Throughout his book he offers strong criticism to our society, especially this generation about being too feel-good, let’s make a difference, solve the world’s problems but not actually making an impact. Eugene Cho is a pastor in Seattle of Quest Church and founder of One Day’s Wages organization, a grassroots movement that is helping to fight extreme proverty around the world. He discusses the challenges and criticism he has faced in starting this organization and starting his church. This was no means an overnight success or just another charity. It was through his obedience to God, prayers, and trials that he was able to start both of them. This book is a convincting book with humor and self-confession that we are not perfect and we cannot save the world. Attempting to be world changers for the sake of changing the world often leads to self-promotion and doing it for the wrong reasons. Sometimes we need to stop and look locally before we attempt global impact. This book is not light hearted; it will cause a stir in the soul.
michelemorin More than 1 year ago
Justice 101 Big plans are great, and, without a doubt, The Great Commission is an invitation to develop a no-holds-barred, pull-out-the-stops strategy to change the world. History provides rich examples of those who did just that: Hudson Taylor, Amy Carmichael, Jim Elliot, Mary Slessor and many more whose names we will never hear. In Overrated, Eugene Cho asks himself piercing questions about his own ideas, dreams, and visions, and he invites those whom he numbers among “the most overrated generation” in history to come alongside him in his questioning. Could it be that his generation of “game changers” and “history makers” are really more in love with “the idea of changing the world than actually changing the world?” The son of immigrants, Eugene learned the value of hard work and tenacity at a young age. Called into ministry, it was natural for him to desire more than “just a traditional church,” so he set himself the task of launching a coffee shop as part of the church’s ministry. Overcoming obstacles (most notably of horrible coffee) led to success and the next step: a transition out of a secure position in a suburban church and into an urban church plant — which, at first, did not materialize. Eugene was unemployed for months and then, eventually, under-employed as a janitor. With both humility and humor, Eugene shares his journey through questioning God in the dark about what He had revealed in the light. Ultimately, with the shattering of his comfortable pre-conceptions about God and ministry, Eugene realized that along with the challenge to “change the world” came the more vexing and humbling invitation to change himself. Drawn to make a difference for those living in poverty, he started One Day’s Wages (ODW), a grassroots movement that asks people to give up what they earned for just one day’s work — about .4 percent of their annual salary — thus, bringing together the very cool, glamorous, feel-good, and heroic notion of “justice” with the loaded truth that justice always comes at a cost. Overrated challenges 21st century Christians to open their Bibles and to find there the Jesus of downward mobility; to find a gospel-oriented understanding of our acts of righteousness which do not save us, but rather proclaim and bear witness to our faith; to absorb and be changed by truth that will deepen our faith and understanding of God’s call through first knowing the God who calls. A challenge to self-examination coupled with boots-on-the-ground input for doing justice and doing it justly, Overrated is a blessed reminder that our acts of service are directed toward the God who desires that His children “do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with Him,” (Micah 6:8). This book was provided by David C. Cook in exchange for my review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
itsraymarie More than 1 year ago
This was such a powerful book. It was so well-spoken for this day and age, with a convicting message. Cho speaks with a truth and honesty, that while it may be hard to hear, needs to be heard. Shut up, pray, listen That's the recurring motto throughout the book. Cho starts off by making some pretty bold statements, about how we as Christians like to say we want to change the world, but don't actually do it. He reiterates that he isn't judging anyone, but that he preaches to himself as well. Cho is speaking to a generation who thinks bringing awareness to an issue consists of posting a 10-second video on Instagram. But while there's nothing wrong with that, it's not really helping either. Don't just tell us what you're against. Demonstrate what you're about. Fascinate us. Compel us. Invite us. Help us reimagine a better story. -94% of eARC But Cho isn't just here to yell at us. By sharing parts of his story with us, he also shows us that he really is living what he is sharing. He believes this. He's not preaching about what we should do, but simply telling us what he is doing. And he does this with his signature wit and humor (and #hashtags). Every chapter held a convicting message. Cho teaches us about justice, and what is really means as a Christian. He talks about idolatry of money. Some may get offended, but he also talks about helping others, and when we actually aren't. He may speak some hard truths, but they come from a place of love and teaching. And most of all, he teaches us that what we think God wants us to do to help others, He is actually using to change us. I know that I have already started reevaluating my life, and the choices I make on a daily basis. This book is one that I would seriously consider a life-changer, and I hope you allow it to change and shape you.
Clark_Roush_PhD More than 1 year ago
Review of Eugene Cho’s forthcoming book, “Overrated” “Overrated” is a clarion call for how God intended us to think and act. It is NOT a missive of comfort. Because Eugene so passionately lives his convictions, he has written a manifesto for living compassionately, loving mercy, and seeking justice. This book is not a message for the faint of heart or the spiritual coward. It is convicting, compelling, and challenging – all the traits a walk with Jesus should entail. Pastor Cho provides a bold thesis: we may be the most overrated generation ever! Fortunately, he also provides bold assertions to back up his thesis. With a marvelous transparency Eugene acts more like a tour-guide or mentor than he does a judge or jury. His intent is not to make you feel guilt – his intent is to help facilitate change in your heart, your actions, and your life filters. He isn’t calling for more verbiage – he’s calling for sacrificial action. As a fellow journeyer, Mr. Cho asserts that Jesus wants our hearts, not just our tweets, blogs, posts, rants, dreams, or wishes. This Jesus-claimed heart will beat with the same passion His did for living compassionately, loving mercy, and seeking justice. Eugene calls us back to our real mission – not just “playing church,” but actually BEING church – go out into the highways and byways and compel them to come in! And you probably won’t find the kind of people you’re used to in the places you’re used to going – this is the heart of Jesus. A radical, sacrificial search that includes the marginalized and down-trodden of society. This is not a call to up the attendance at our Sunday “country club,” a.k.a. church – Cho’s call is to a costly social justice that doesn’t just make us feel good about ourselves, but is a well-thought-out method of ministering that actually facilitates true and organic betterment for OTHERS. This is not easy or in most of our paradigms. As we realize that God wants our hearts, and that He really wants us to live as Jesus did, the most predominant change probably happens in us. Everything else flows from a pensive, deliberately still, self-reflective quietness that eventually erupts in a calling and purpose only God could provide or sustain. In a poignant and beautiful closing, Cho says, “Rather than fear, guilt, or shame, let’s inspire people with hope, beauty, and courage. Let’s fascinate, not force, people toward the gospel.” If you are in for a paradigm shift, if you want your heart to burn within you, as did those on the road to Emmaus, if you are looking for radical spiritual heart surgery, then you MUST read this book. With the boldness and humility of a prophet, Eugene Cho leads us deeper into the heart and way of Jesus, so we can be more effective vessels God can use in His ways, for His purposes, in the ways He calls and equips.
MitchRoush More than 1 year ago
Confession time…I’m overrated. If we’re being completely honest…you probably are too. In fact, we just might be the most overrated generation. Are we more in love with the idea of changing the world than actually changing the world? I think we are. In one way or another, we’re all guilty of this. We’re guilty of buying a pair of TOMS and feeling good about difference we’ve made. We’re guilty of posting an Ice Bucket Challenge Video and donating a few bucks to ALS and leaving it at that. We’re guilty of saying, “This needs to change.”, but not engaging in resolution. We’re guilty of desiring something better without sacrificing to build it. We’re guilty of reading about inspirational individuals without it sparking action. We’re guilty of innocently knowing we’re called to a higher standard without fully living like it. Why is that? What can we do to change these tendencies? How can we love our God and each other better? These are the questions and concepts Eugene Cho covers in his upcoming book, OVERRATED. Simply put, “Overrated” is one of the most important and unsettling books of the year. As a life-long champion of peace, racial equality and justice, Eugene Cho has given us what we’ve desperately needed–a testimony of changing ourselves so that we can change our own backyards, and with it…the world. It’s been a long-time since I’ve read a book I was tempted to stop reading. Seriously, I lost count of how many times I read an powerful passage and said, “Ouch!”.  Cho delivers therapeutic punches to the gut, calling us (and himself) out on our superficial activism and flimsy faith. The crazy thing about the book is that Cho doesn’t really share anything earth-shattering–just a message we forget too easily.  His main premise is:  If we truly believe in the life and faith of Jesus Christ, then we cannot allow our hearts or lives to remain the same.  If we aren’t first transformed into what we’re meant to be in the light of His Grace, how can we expect to change the world? And if we aren’t willing to engage the uncomfortable; break the silence; stand-up in the face of injustice; and truly view our brothers and sisters as equals no matter the skin color, economic standing, or personal history–we’re not practicing what we’re preaching. We mustn’t ignore the needs in our own backyards.  We mustn’t underestimate what Holy Spirit can do thru us.  We mustn’t sell-short the validity of simply living a humble and faithful life.  We mustn’t fall victim to allowing words or social-media shout-outs to be enough. For fans of Shane Claiborne, Jen Hatmaker, Donald Miller & John Perkins–this book is for you. For those needing a profound reminder–this book is for you. For us social-justice wanna-be’s–this book is for you. For those of us struggling to find the right way to respond to a hurting society–this book is for you. For a church that sometimes sucks at representing Jesus–this book is for us. I cannot recommend Euguene Cho’s easy-to-read but difficult-to-swallow testament enough!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A convicting and needful read, Overrated serves as a millennial gut check.  Eugene is refreshingly honest about his own personal story. Leaders who are transparent, give their messages authenticity. Moments of humility taught him the beautiful lessons he shares in the book.  The heart of the book is that the world is not changed by our efforts, but by our willingness to change too. Eugene shares his favorite One Day’s Wages story, a teenager who donated $73 dollars, a day of work at Subway. I think it’s pretty much that simple; to just do it, get over ourselves, and love selflessly.  We share grace as we learn. Then our making a difference is not overrated, but perfect
sljohnson1 More than 1 year ago
Several months ago I heard Eugene Cho speak at Engedi Church, in Holland, MI. Eugene is a pastor in Seattle, WA and the founder of One Day's Wages, a movement of people, stories, and actions to alleviate extreme global poverty. Since hearing Eugene speak, I've been following him because he is a man of wisdom, wit and humility. I recently finished reading his first book, Overrated: Are We More in Love with the Idea of Changing the World Than Actually Changing the World?, a book that every Christ follower needs to read. In Overrated, Eugene shares his upbringing/story that has created a passion for alleviating poverty, confesses some of the mistakes he's made along the way, and challenges us with steps we need to take when pursuing our own justice efforts. Overrated has challenged me and inspired me to change how I look at and pursue justice. It has convinced me that Jesus came to bring good news to the poor, to set the oppressed free, and to heal the blind, the sick and the lame. If I truly follow Him, then I must care for the people that He cares about. I've already started using Overrated as a manual to discern how God wants me to show His love to the people that He clearly loves. I'll say it again. Every Christ follower needs to read this book!
NaomiLiz More than 1 year ago
 I care about justice…At least, I care about the idea of justice. But what am I really doing about it? This thought has been challenging me since the first time I heard Eugene Cho speak at the beginning of 2013. His words have echoed  in my head over the past year and a half, and when I found out he was writing a book, I knew that Overrated would be an important one for me to read. After waiting many months, I read it eagerly and had to slow myself down so I could take it in and digest it. While Overrated is an accessible read (not too “heady” or intellectual), it is difficult in that it is deeply challenging. Eugene pushes us to go deeper–to not only do justice but to live more generously, sacrificially, and justly. “Contentment does not come from our upward mobility. Our contentment comes from a life of gratitude and generosity. Our contentment comes in living in the truth that Jesus emptied Himself and invites us to live in countercultural obedience to Him.” (p. 66) During my semester studying abroad in college, the program I attended had a sort of motto or guiding philosophy: Of Telos and Praxis. The basic idea was that we were studying not just to understand our theology (telos) but also so that we could apply it and live it out in practice (praxis). What I enjoyed so much about Overrated was how Eugene weaved together theology with real life stuff. Being that he is a pastor, I’m sure he understands the impact and importance of story, but he does more than just search for illustrations to support his points. The reflections and challenges he shares are birthed out of his own life experiences, and he shares them humbly as his confession. In doing so, the challenges and even criticisms of our church culture don’t come across as a pointed finger but rather as a motivating call to action. The thoughts that Eugene shared have given me freedom and vision for how I want to live out God’s call in my own life to “act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly” with God. I’ve found a much deeper sense of calling to dig in, become an expert, build relationships, be in it for the long haul, and seek the feet of Jesus. Overrated will be a book that I’ll keep on my shelves for a long time, and I highly recommend it to anyone who desires to share God’s love in both spiritual and physical ways with this hurting world. Whether you’re a Christian who’s a little skeptical of all this “justice stuff,”  or whether you’re passionate about justice, or just aren’t sure where to start (that’s all of us!), I think this will be a challenging and important book for you, too. *Disclosure of Material Connection: I received an advance copy of this book free from David C Cook as part of their street team to help spread the word about the book’s release. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of  Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
lmbartelt More than 1 year ago
Just based on the title, I didn't have to even read one page to know that this book is not to be taken lightly. (Disclaimer: I received an advance e-copy of the book in exchange for my review.) Cho does not mince words. He does not coddle. He does not accept excuses. He asks the question that needs to be asked: Are we more in love with the idea of changing the world than actually changing the world? And as much as I hate to admit it, he's right. I'm guilty of wanting to change the world, of wanting to make a difference but doing very little to back that up. So this book is hard to read. It's like seeking advice from a friend who tells you not what you want to hear but says the hard things and challenges you to do what needs to be done.  While it's a book about justice and the Christian's role in justice, it's also about discipleship and generosity and intentional living and passion and purpose. It's about these things working together in the life of a disciple of Jesus so much that the world can't help but notice. And Cho does not speak as one who has done it all perfectly with impure motives. He does not preach what he doesn't live. He offers his own confessions, failings, and wrong motives as testimony that this call is not just for other people but for him as well. Here are five of the most challenging statements, for me, Cho makes in the book: "Isn't that what makes discipleship so uncomfortable and challenging? God often leads us on journeys we would never go on if it were up to us." (26) "I believe you cannot credibly follow Christ unless you pursue justice." (43) "The inescapable truth about justice is that there is something wrong in the world that needs to be set right." (52) "We should be about the marathon, not about the transactional sprint for instant justice gratification." (105) "We cannot speak with integrity about what we are not living. We don't need more dazzling storytellers; we need more genuine storytellers. And the best way to become a better storyteller is to simply live a better life. Not a perfect life, but one of honesty, integrity, and passion." (178) I could go on. Nearly every page contained a nugget of truth that lodged in my heart and wouldn't let go.  I forced myself to read it slow, take one chapter at a time and really let the words sink in. I'd put this book at the top of my list of recommended reads for churches, youth groups, ministry workers, seminaries--really anyone who desires to do good in the world because of their relationship with Christ. Overrated won't condemn you for your actions, or lack thereof, but it will challenge you to let your life be about more than Twitter-style justice and passionate ideas. It's encouragement to dream big, yes, and think hard and press on in the long run.