book review: Nothing to Prove

It is too easy to get just so tired of life. Rushing from place to place, spending time with people, performing, performing, performing. It’s exhausting!

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I picked up the book Nothing to Prove because it had a neat cover and I recognized the author (Jennie Allen is the founder of IF:Gathering).  I had no idea how much I would benefit from reading this book!  Honestly, it has changed my perspective of grace.

Jennie Allen lays out how the gospel redefines our lives and how we can find freedom in knowing that our debt is paid.  The book starts with a focus on us, on our need, our lack, how we simply can’t measure up.  I know it’s not just me who comes away from everything I do with “Wow, I was not good enough.”

Listen, we are not good enough.  It’s a fact of life.  We just aren’t.  But that’s how grace works.  If we were good enough for God, we wouldn’t need Jesus!  But as it is, we fall incredibly short of God’s standards — which means that his mercy is that much more incredible!

Jennie Allen unpacks the streams of God’s goodness. Our striving, our tiredness, our fear, our shame — God offers rest and protection.  He offers a cause to fight for.  He offers a deep relationship with himself.  He is more than enough for us.  If only we would let go of trying to measure up!

I loved this book so much.  It’s not that long, but it took me a while to get through because it’s the kind of book you need to take time to digest.  In fact, after every chapter is something Jennie calls an “experience guide”: a Bible verse to meditate on, some questions to ponder, maybe a journaling prompt, and a way to take action with others.

I love to annotate, and I found myself underlining and starring something in just about every paragraph.  Let me share a few quotes I love:

“God is not after great performances or great movements.  He is after us!” (p.33)

“What if we stopped doing things for God and started doing them with God?  When we make that shift, we will be different.  Because when we are with Him, we see Him for who He is and He changes us.  This is a journey into greater faith.” (p. 41)

“We are called to walk on water — and to do so boldly DESPITE OUR FEARS.  Jesus isn’t scolding us for being afraid; He is calling us out of our comfortable boats to do something unthinkable, something that is possible only with His power.” (p. 155)

“We began this journey clear that there is an enemy trying to take us out.  But we end in a different place.  We don’t need focused on an enemy or even focused on ourselves.  We end focused on our God.  Who he is frees us; who He is flows in and through us and changes everything.” (p. 232)

Overall, I highly recommend this book, and even though it’s just for women, I say you guys should take a shot at it.  Ten out of ten, people.  (Plus the cover looks really neat.)  I will definitely be reading it again… and again.

Buy the book here, or read more about the author.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.  Honestly, I really recommend this service if you have a blog (or another such platform) on which to share a book review! Free books in return for telling other people about them?  Yes please.

 

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