(Review) Nothing To Prove: Why We Can Stop Trying So Hard by Jennie Allen

Publication Date: January 31, 2017
Publisher: WaterBrook, an imprint of Crown, and a division of Penguin Random House
Genre: Nonfiction, Christian living
Edition: Advanced Reader Copy, Paperback
Pages: 244
Source: I received this book free of charge from Blogging for Books for this review.
Rating: Excellent

Amazon


About Jennie Allen

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 four children.

Facebook: Facebook.com/JennieSAllen
Twitter: @JennieAllen
Instagram: @JennieSAllen
Jennie Allen's website



About Nothing to Prove

No More Pretending. No More Performing. No More Fighting to Prove Yourself.

Are you trying your best to measure up—yet you still feel as if you’re losing ground?

You are not alone.

Jennie Allen understands the daily struggle so many of us face with 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.
* Admit our greatest needs and watch them be filled by the only One who can meet them.
* 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.

—Jennie


My Thoughts:
I've just finished reading two books with similar themes: The Broken Way by Ann Voskamp, and Nothing To Prove by Jennie Allen. In the book The Broken Way, I also read the study guide and took part in the study group on Facebook. I had the opportunity to watch the video series on this book by Ann Voskamp. I will review the book and study guide in another post.
Both Allen and Voskamp's books talk about being transparent, broken, leaning into suffering, and sharing our stories through community. They use different words and analogies, but both authors are similar in topics.
In my parents generation, people did not willingly talk about hardships. They did not share the private and broken areas of their lives. I was born in the last year of the Baby Boomer generation. My generation is a mix, a mix of not talking and sharing about life, and then out of actually more rebellion than intention, we talk too much. I feel the intention part is the most important. Why we share. Who we share with. And who gets the glory. The generations after me has sorted through the information age; and Christian authors have placed an emphasis on making an impact on the world through our love of Christ. Jesus commanded us to love one another as He has loved us. We are to go out into the world to share the love of Christ, and apart of this sharing is our own stories of hardships, brokenness, and how the Lord Jesus Christ has allowed suffering in order to develop us and minister to others.
"Part One: Our Desert of Striving"
Jennie Allen begins by "exposing the enemies lies." The enemy is Satan. He is the prince of this world. The lie is measuring up in this world to its standards. Another lie is our striving to accomplish whatever that measuring up looks like to us.
"Unrealistic expectations we impose on ourselves are set in motion from nearly the moment we come into the world." Page 29.
A reaction on our part is to be numb. I have been guilty of this for most of my life. This is a reaction and a learned behavior because of child abuse and sexual abuse. I'm not numb anymore. I want to feel. Whether angry or sad, joyful or at peace. I want to feel.
For so long, earlier in my life, I immaturely thought life was largely about finding my comfort and my happiness. Then as God moved me in deeper with Him, I saw rightly that life is really all about loving God and people wildly. Page 56
Part Two: God's Streams of Enoughness"
The chapters in this section are from the Gospel and letters of John.
Allen begins by stating, "The old cheap wine of measuring up and stale religion is gone. But the new wine answers our deepest craving-and it never runs out." Page 88.
The pleasures of this life: money, shopping, and entertainment are temporary fixes. Jesus is better.
In chapter six I read something profound.
Here's what I believe is happening: we are so lonely and we do not feel known, we do not feel understood. We do not feel connected to people in a really deep way because we are expecting them to fill something only God can fill. Page 106.
How often I've looked for something in people that only God can fill.
We are made for dependency on God. We were built for that. Because God is invisible we put our neediness on people, and that becomes unhealthy 100 percent of the time. It's called co-dependency. If we connect with people and we don't connect with God, we end up asking people to be our enough. People will always eventually disappoint you. Don't be surprised. They aren't enough either. Page 107.
My favorite chapter is nine: "No Longer Afraid." "Based on John 11." This chapter is on suffering.
"We try to avoid suffering-suffering that we need to face. Romans 5 directs us to lean into suffering so that we learn to persevere, so that we are filled with hope, so that we find joy." Page 172.
Allen states "Jesus has a plan for our suffering." Page 175. We focus on the suffering more than Jesus and His plan for our lives. We have to "lean in to suffering." Go with it. For me, this means we become humble before Him and surrender into the suffering. This is tough words for those of us who are independent minded. Like me. I want to fight. I want to dig-in my heels for the battle.
The last chapters are on transparency about our sins, following Jesus, and bearing fruit.

Scripture links courtesy of Bible Gateway.




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