Trading Guilt for Grace

What if you really believed what the Bible says about God — that He loves you like a perfect Father, like a perfect Husband, like the perfect Friend, like the perfect Leader?  What if you let the truth sink into your soul that God’s perfect love is not tied to your performance or to your success or to the way you look in your yoga pants?  In You’re Loved No Matter What, Holly Gerth invites you to consider how embracing this truth might change the way you relate to your children, clean your house, approach your job, conduct your ministry, and even how you look back at yourself from the mirror.

Having battled the pitfalls of perfection, Holly challenges women to a right understanding of God and His Word with the goal of correcting faulty responses to verses such as Matthew 5:48:  “Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect.”  The Greek word for perfect [teleios] is more about maturing growth or completion than it is about being perfect right now; and, furthermore, God makes it clear in his Word that the perfection our hearts long for will only be fulfilled completely in Him — and in the future.  Holley’s chapter on heaven (delightful!) explains that our bent and broken striving for perfection in our present life is evidence that God made us for something far better than what we experience on this planet.  The fact that we are being made holy (Hebrews 10:14) is only a foreshadowing of the perfect place, perfect relationships and perfect people found only in Heaven.

In the meantime, God has called his women to a grace-oriented freedom from perfectionism.  Holley shares transparently about her own lifelong and on-going battle to take the grace offered in Christ.  Reading descriptions of her lunch meetings with friends and heart-to-heart conversations, I felt as if I had been invited to pour a cup and pull up a chair.  In a sisterhood that, together, receives what is already ours in Christ, there will be blessed freedom to say no, to be unique, to carry less, to ignore the Pharisees, and to take risks.

Warm and relational, yet solid and Truth-based, You’re Loved No Matter What is an excellent resource for a group study with a Seven-Step Action Plan and a Go-Deeper Guide, but would be equally effective for individual use by women of any age.  The fears that we battle, the guilt that gnaws at our bones, the endless race to do enough and be enough can end today with the heart-healing truth that being a Christian is not about “leading a good life.”  It is not about perfection on this planet.  What Christ offers is a new identity:  perfection in Him; the freedom to be who you were created to be; and a healing relationship with a God who truly is perfect in every way and loves you perfectly — no matter what.

This book was provided by Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group, in exchange for my unbiased review.

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Michele Morin

Michele Morin is a teacher, blogger, reader, and gardener who finds joy in sitting at a table surrounded by women with open Bibles. She has been married to an unreasonably patient husband for over 25 years, and their four children are growing up at an alarming rate. Michele loves hot tea and well-crafted sentences, poems that stop her in her tracks and days at the ocean with the whole family. She laments biblical illiteracy and advocates for the prudent use of “little minutes.” She blogs at Living Our Days, and you can connect with her on Facebook or Twitter.

2 thoughts on “Trading Guilt for Grace”

  1. This is an amazing book to read through! Our young women especially are bombarded with the idea of conditional love…which is not of God!!! I am SO thankful that God’s love is unconditional. Stopping over from Holley’s link-up.

    Liked by 1 person

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