Nothing To Prove
Nothing To Prove: Why We Can Stop Trying So Hard is Jennie Allen's bold manifesto against pretending, performing, and fighting to prove yourself. This is the first book I've read by Jennie Allen, although I've certainly heard of her and her previous books, Anything and Restless. As soon as I opened the book and started reading the introduction, I was hooked. I especially loved this quote from the introduction: "I was free of the expectations, the roles I play, the pressures of real life. Nothing about my circumstances changed in that moment. But everything on the inside shifted. I didn't realize until then that, accidentally, I'd let me life subtly turn into a performance. On that dirt floor, I forgot all of my lines, abandoned all of my roles, dropped all of the costumes ... I had nothing to prove. I drank in grace. I hadn't known that was what I'd been so thirsty for." This kicks off Nothing To Prove. The back cover reads:
"No More Pretending. No More Performing. No More Fighting to Prove Yourself.
Are you tired, inside and out? Are you trying your best to measure up yet you still feel as if you re losing ground and missing out on the best parts of life?
You are not alone.
Jennie Allen understands the daily struggle so many of us face with inadequacy and insecurity and the fear that we are not enough. And she invites us into a different experience, one in which our souls overflow with contentment and joy. In Nothing to Prove she calls us to
* Find freedom from self-induced pressure by admitting we re not enough but Jesus is.
* Stop doing things for God, and start doing things with Him.
* Admit our greatest needs and watch them be filled by the only One who can meet them.
* Discover how God moves wildly through those who have nothing to protect and nothing to prove.
* Make it our goal to know and love Jesus, then watch what He does in and through us.
As you wade into the refreshing truth of the more-than-enough life Jesus offers, you ll experience the joyous freedom that comes to those who are determined to discover what God can do through a soul completely in love with Him.
Discover the answer to your soul-deep thirst
Too many of us have bought into the lie that our cravings will be satisfied if we are enough and if we have enough. So we chase image, answers, things, and people and we wonder all the while, Why am I still thirsty?
My single goal with this book is to lead your thirsty soul to the only source of lasting fulfillment: Jesus. He is the living water, a limitless supply that will not only quench your thirst but will fill you and then come pouring out of you into a thirsty world.
Because of Him, you are loved. You are known. You can take a deep breath.
Because you have nothing to prove."
I also appreciated that she immediately brings attention to how the devil keeps of from God's grace, in part by distractions and worldly pleasures: "So if I were your enemy, I would make you numb and distract you from God's story. Technology, social media, Netflix, travel, food and wine, comfort. I would not tempt you with notably bad things, or you would get suspicious. I would distract you with everyday comforts that slowly feed you a different story and make you forget God. Then you would dismiss the Spirit leading you, loving you, and comforting you. Then you would start to love comfort more than surrender and obedience and souls." I love that she isn't afraid to bring this up - I've been battling this in my own life and I see it in so many Christian's lives. This is a very important aspect that some people are afraid to touch.
Nothing To Prove is divided into two sections: Our Desert Of Striving and God's Streams Of Enoughness. Jennie takes us through these two themes and then weaves them together to show us that we don't have to keep striving, because God is enough and He will give us everything we need. Topics touched in include fulfillment, connection, rest, risk, hope, grace, and calling. There are also sections called "Experience Guides" that ask questions and lead you deeper into the texts and concepts. I truly enjoyed this book because I've always struggled with feeling overwhelmed and inadequate. I could relate to Jennie in so many ways, and reading this book felt like chatting with a good friend. I highly recommend this book to any Christian woman struggling in this area.
I received a copy of this book from Blogging For Books in order to provide an honest and unbiased review. All opinions are my own.