Having the Faith to Truly Embrace Grace: What I'm Reading Right Now

Currently reading: Freedom from Performing by Becky Harling

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from this book. So many books that come out these days, seem so full of promise on the back of the book, but when you actually sit down and read them, those promises fall flat and never dig deeper than Christian Living 101 that you can find in any book.

I kind of expected that to be the case here, but fortunately it has been much more thought-provoking and stirring than I could have hoped! The book is written to those of us who struggle to truly embrace grace and stop putting our worth and value on what others think of us or even on what we can do for God.

In each chapter, she looks at different facets that play into this, whether it’s because we don’t know how to not be busy and doing a million things at once, because we struggle with perfection or envy,  or because we haven’t discovered our God-given purpose (and tips for how to unearth that in your own life).

One of the best parts of the book is that it really helps you recognize some of the feelings you have about yourself—your inadequacies, shortcomings, weaknesses—and provides steps toward healing those destructive and accusing thoughts. I really found that it stirred up an awareness within me about what I really feel toward myself and encouraged me make steps to bring those feelings to the Lord.

It’s also intended as a Bible study tool, so after each chapter there’s a dozen or so questions that you’re supposed to dig into. Personally, I didn’t find them all that engaging, but they can be helpful to those who don’t really have a Bible-reading plan in place.

A glimpse at some of the notes I took while reading Freedom from Performing:
  • I cannot internalize grace on my own; I need Your help to truly grasp my righteousness in Christ
  • When we do fail, we can say to God, “Thank you for this opportunity to experience your grace again.”
  • The more we nurture and feed envy, the less we will experience God’s grace.
  • In the parable of growing the seed, the man plants the seed but even at night—when he’s not doing anything—it grows on its own. We have to do our responsibility within God’s kingdom, but we don’t have to do everything!
  • When we tell ourselves, “I should…,” we end up making ourselves feel guilty for our inactions. Instead, we should say, “I want to…”
  • "Grace and gratitude belong together, like heaven and earth. Grace evokes gratitude like the voice of an echo. Gratitude follows grace as thunder follows lightening." - Karl Barth
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