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Monday, April 9, 2012

A Christian Self Help Book: My Own Worst Enemy Review

By: Janet Davis
Do you have it all together? 
Do you think everyone else has it all together? 
Add me to the latter group.  I know it's not true, everyone has issues but somehow I've always had the misconception floating around in my head, that almost EVERYONE else but me has it all together.  Silly isn't it?  I knew it wasn't true, but just like fairy tales we grew up loving, sometimes we just can't let that idea die, even if we don't love it.  That's way I choose to review the book, My Own Worst Enemy, how to stop holding yourself back, by Janet Davis.

The author uses her own stories along with others to help us gain insight on problems many people, especially women struggle with.  She shares Biblical verse to aid in our search for the long sought answers to questions that we have, but sometimes push out of our mind. 

A good example is, the confusion in our Christian culture about pride and shining as well as hiding and humility.  I really liked this comparison that she used with the verse of Matthew 5:14 -16:
    "This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine."  That song is not idle chatter; it is based on Scripture.
           You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.  Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl.  Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.  In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:14-16)

Now this is a verse that I could stand to read daily as a reminder to let Gods love shine, and also not be ashamed of our own accomplishments. 

Janet is reminding us, or maybe even informing some for the first time, that it is okay to shine.  It is okay to take credit.  To accept a compliment without feeling like we are taking away from God's glory.  God is at work within all of us.  It's not about being prideful but about recognizing that God create us to partner with him in the doing of great works.  Without him we are nothing.  With him we are capable of doing great things.  Remember we are made in the image of God.  That doesn't say that we mean to imply that we are God. 

So many women, especially the ones from my era, when it seemed more of us grew up with stay-at-homes moms than those who didn't, were taught that it was not lady-like are proper to toot our own horn.  I always had difficulty accepting compliments, not that I didn't enjoy them.  Who doesn't want to feel like they do something well?

Janet's book provides a jumping off point for examining your own thinking.  How do you perceive yourself?  Your positive or negative view can lead to your own freedom and help break the shackles of your mind that may be holding you back.  All this is done in a friend next door manner with a gentle hand and not a club.  This isn't one of the new, nonsense books telling women to rise up and become a B.

I love that the book has study questions at the end of the chapters, which encourages a little self-analysis. 

I really think this book is not a end-all, fix-all but it does give you a good starting point and a perspective outside your own.  Using this as a book club read would be useful.  The book has a perfect format for that.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from Bethany House publishers in exchange for my review. opinion here is entirely my own.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a good book girl. How are you these days? Hugs and blessings, Cindy