Thursday, February 2, 2017

Nothing To Prove by Jennie Allen

Nothing To Prove: Why We Can Stop Trying So Hard by Jennie Allen is a stepping stone for those of us who are exhausted from the charade of pretending to be "enough" for ourselves, others, and God. Jennie starts by addressing that unquenchable thirst that many of us face even when we seem to have life figured out. We feel like we're suffocating, but we keep pretending that everything is okay.

During the first few chapters, Jennie shares with us her deepest fear of not being enough. With this confession comes the lesson:
"God is not after great performances or great movements. He is after us! God already knows we are not enough, but He's not asking us to be." (page 32)
Jennie goes on to show us how to admit that we aren't enough, hand our baggage over to God, and allow Him to give us the freedom He is so willing to quench our thirst with. She identifies common behaviors and thoughts that we need to let go of, and offers suggestions in order to strengthen our relationship with Jesus.

Through a series of personal stories and biblical reflections, the second part of the book - God's Streams Of Enoughness - serves up seven chapters, focusing on specific feelings or concepts to let go of and what to replace them with. Each chapter ends with an Experience Guide to help you along your journey. The seven streams are Fulfillment (to replace Thirsty), Connection (to replace Lonely), Rest (to replace Tired), Risk (to replace Passive), Hope (to replace Afraid), Grace (to replace Ashamed), and Calling (to replace Empty).

When I first started reading this book, I found it frustrating that all of the Bible references are not listed in the text, but rather are on the Notes page at the back of the book. However, by about halfway through the book, I was thankful for this because I makes it so much easier to use the concise list during my personal Bible reading/journaling time without having to flip back through the entire book.

I enjoyed the first part of the book, and was eager to dive in to part 2. However, I found myself having a hard time making it through the chapters that didn't really apply to my personal battles at this point in my life. For anyone reading this book, I would suggest to read part 1 in its entirety. During part 2, if reading the less applicable chapters are a hang up, then skip to the most pertinent issues presently interfering with your life and livelihood. You can always go back and read the rest later.

Overall, I'm giving this book 4/5 stars. I was really hoping that the less pertinent chapters (for me) would be broad enough to yield a beneficial study, but instead I found the examples to be specific enough that I couldn't see a clear way to fully embrace the lesson.

*Disclaimer: I received a free proof copy of this book from Blogging For Books for the purpose of this review. All opinions are my own.*

About the book's author (copied from back cover):
Jennie Allen is a recovering achiever who is passionate about Jesus. She is the best-selling author of Anything and Restless, as well as the founder and visionary for the million-strong IF:Gathering, which exists to gather, equip, and unleash the next generation to live out their purpose. Jennie speaks frequently at conferences such as Catalyst and Q. She holds a master's degree in biblical studies from Dallas Theological Seminary and lives in Austin, Texas, with her husband, Zac, and their children.
Purchase Links:
     Christian Book

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