Thursday, September 10, 2020



First Off: 

I haven't posted an honest-to-goodness personal book review in a long time, mostly because I am just so darn busy these days that I don't have the time! That being said, this was such a light book to read, I felt compelled to share my thoughts on it. This is a hot-button book right now, and after seeing it circulating on Instagram, I thought, "That is the pinkest book I have ever seen. For that reason alone, I have to check it out." I got my chance over Labor Day Weekend. I read the book in just a few hours. Previous to reading the book, my experience with Allie Beth Stuckey was based on her Instagram feed, where she offers a female and Christian-perspective commentary on world events and politics, and bits and pieces of her podcast. I will say that her book has started me listening to her podcast regularly. She is incredibly quick, well-spoken, well-educated, and strives to remain grounded in Biblical truth in everything that she presents to her listeners and readers. For Christians who have been sucked into the world of "Me-Culture," this is a great read (Think Rachel Hollis' "Girl, Wash Your Face" or anything written by Joel Osteen). That being said, if you are not a Christian, this book may help you to understand why we, as humans, can never be enough. Only one thing can fill that God-shaped hole in your heart, and that is the Lord Jesus Christ. 

I hope you enjoy my review and check out Allie Beth's book. Included below the review are links to her website, the book, and her podcast! 


Okay, this is a really light read and I knocked it out in one night.

Firstly, I know who Allie Beth Stuckey is but previously had never actually listened to an entire episode of her podcast, "Relatable." I had only seen or heard bits and pieces. A friend of mine loaned me the book to read while we were camping and I had to check it out, because the title literally flies directly in the face of the odiously popular prosperity gospel that has become increasingly mainstream (think Joel Osteen, Beth Moore, etc). In essence, Stuckey's main thesis here is this: You are not enough, you will never be enough, and only Jesus Christ can make you enough.

For non-Christians, this sounds crazy, because this statement is quite literally one of the pillars of true Christianity: self-denial. Christ must be elevated and man must be made low. As humans, our first instinct is to love ourselves truly and completely, to be selfish, and to look out for our own interests. Christians, once they accept Christ as their Lord and Savior, are told to "Throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception" (Ephesians 4:22). Again, for a non-believer who does not adhere to the laws laid out in the Bible, this means nothing, and so reviewers who have trashed this book because of its religious foundation are irrelevant. If you are not a Christian and do not believe in Jesus Christ, why be offended over it? I digress. It seems today that everybody has to be offended about something, so today let's all be offended over a book that counters the "toxic culture of self-love."

That being said, I have found it interesting how "self-love" books and instagram accounts and such are springing up everywhere, and have even fallen prey to a few myself over the years. It is enticing to say that I am enough, that I am fabulous, that I am awesome, that I am sufficient. Stuckey lays out the Biblical truths that we are NOT enough. We, as humans, are fallen, sinful, corruptible, deceitful creatures who are the creations of a Holy God who demands not only our worship and our respect, but our obedience. Indeed, an obedient heart goes against the very nature of most humans (if you read the book and hated it, ask yourself this: why does the idea of obedience to God disturb you so? Be honest with yourself, and don't be defensive. Why does the idea of bowing to God make you so angry?).

Her most effective point, I think, lay here: "If the self is the source of our depression or despair or insecurity or fear, it can't also be the source of our ultimate fulfillment." Indeed, if our own nature is our own worst enemy, how in the world CAN we possibly "Self-love" ourselves out of despair? We really can't. This is an excellent point because it intrinsically links to the higher moral law that was established by God in the Bible, dating all the way back to the Ten Commandments. God created a moral law, and without some sort of higher authority, a system of absolute rights and wrongs, there is total chaos. Without a moral code, you have a society that is based on feelings and emotions rather than morality. For example, most people can agree that murder is wrong. But why? What moral authority has deemed this so? What is it inside of us that screams out, loudly, that murder is morally wrong? What is it that makes us able to recognize this? Yet by contrast, many people murder constantly and see no problem with it (Hello, Adolf Hitler? How about Sadaam Hussein? Stalin? Bloody Queen Mary? I could go on...). In other words, if you base law or society on feelings, you end up with people who do whatever they want, whenever they want, because it "feels good." Well, it might "Feel good" for a group of men to gang-rape a woman, but that most certainly doesn't make it right! Again, how do we KNOW this is wrong? Because God's law is very clear. Thou shalt not kill, thou shall not commit adultery, thou shall not steal, etc.

Stuckey's book, which ultimately debunks the myths of self-love, is an excellent little narrative on this underlying Christian command: "Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me" (Matthew 16:24). Indeed, the gate is not wide that leads to eternal life, but rather, very narrow.
Links to Stuckey's Social Media Outlets and More: 

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