Do Not Be True To Yourself

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Author: Kevin DeYoung


Countercultural Yet Biblical Advice for High School and College Students

Most speeches addressed to high school and college students follow a similar theme: march to the beat of your own drum. This may sound encouraging on the surface, but Scripture exhorts believers to submit their lives to the will of God, not their own desires. Christian students need gospel-centered truth to guide them on their journey toward independence.

In this collection of inspiring sermons and graduation speeches, Kevin DeYoung delivers a motivational, biblical call to young people: serve God faithfully—and if necessary, counterculturally—in the next season of your life. Do Not Be True to Yourself includes practical advice for cultivating a Christ-centered worldview in every area of adult life, including relationships, work, church participation, and spiritual growth, making it a transformational resource for mentoring students. 

  • Written by Kevin DeYoung: Pastor and bestselling author shares relevant wisdom from past commencement speeches and sermons
  • Concise, Engaging Chapters of Countercultural Advice: Christ-centered guidance that includes developing spiritual habits, prioritizing church attendance, fighting sexual sin, and temptation, and making godly decisions. 
  • Includes Reading Guide: DeYoung suggests 12 classic Christian books every person should read, from writers including John Calvin, G. K. Chesterton, and R. C. Sproul 

Table of Contents:


Chapter 1: Don’t Be True to Yourself
Chapter 2: Choose for Yourselves
Chapter 3: The First Day of the Next Chapter of Your Life
Chapter 4: Two Ways to Live
Chapter 5: Horseshoes, Hand Grenades, and the Kingdom of God

Appendix: Twelve Old(ish) Books to Read When You Are Young
Scripture Index


About the author:

Kevin DeYoung (PhD, University of Leicester) is the senior pastor at Christ Covenant Church in Matthews, North Carolina, and associate professor of systematic theology at Reformed Theological Seminary, Charlotte. He has written books for children, adults, and academics, including Just Do SomethingCrazy Busy; and The Biggest Story. Kevin and his wife, Trisha, have nine children.


“Kevin DeYoung writes with inspiring clarity and pastoral love as he summons a generation of Christians to courage and nerve. As he puts it, ‘The choice that matters most is actually a lifetime of choices.’ This will be the book to give to your graduating high school and college students. But please don’t pigeonhole this book. Do Not Be True to Yourself is a brilliant and succinct call to all Christians to reject the spirit of the age in favor of the courageous Christian faith.”  ~Rosaria Butterfield, Former Professor of English, Syracuse University; author, Five Lies of Our Anti-Christian Age

“Kevin DeYoung’s Do Not Be True to Yourself is a helpful antidote to a culture of self-obsession. If we’re learning anything about human nature in the age in which we live, it is that outsized focus on oneself produces disabling anxiety, disorienting ‘identities,’ and dizzying confusion about man’s ultimate end. It turns out, secular man’s chief end of glorifying himself is producing the very opposite of joy. This book shows why and shows a better, godward way forward.”  ~Andrew T. Walker, Associate Professor of Christian Ethics, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary; Fellow, The Ethics and Public Policy Center