You’re Already Amazing
by Holley Gerth
You don’t have to do more, be more, have more. You’re a daughter of God, a holy princess, a woman created with strengths you’ve yet to fully grasp and a story that’s still being written by the divine Author himself. … [in Christ] you’re not only amazing. You’re enough. You’re beautiful. You’re wanted. You’re chosen. You’re called.
You’re Already Amazing presents an amazing truth: in Christ, you are enough. In Christ, you are everything you need to be and more… because Jesus is enough and everything you need to be. You have his record. So stop trying to be someone you’re not… because Jesus has made you exactly who he wants you to be.
My wife and I have been casting about for a book to use for our women’s Bible study. Several women of the congregation have asked her to lead one, and we knew we wanted one that communicated certain core truths. For one, Jesus is everything – you need do nothing. We weren’t looking for sanctification manuals that forgot the Gospel motivated all change. We weren’t looking for feel good rah-rah-rah books. We were looking for something that was Gospel-soaked and aimed at women. We found a few duds. (Honestly, my wife did most of the work there – we’d read the back of the books together, agree to give it a try, and she’d usually know in the first few chapters that they weren’t worth her time, much less the time of a group of women. I never got any farther than her assessment.)
Then we found this.
The title and back of the book were promising. The concept had some good things to recommend it. And the book itself?
The book has a lot to recommend itself. It really is filled with Gospel; when it talks about change, it does it from the angle of, “You are already amazing. You are already enough in Jesus. So pursue who you are!” I applaud the author’s use of Gospel throughout.
I did feel a lack of law, though – we had lots of grace, but not necessarily a lot of why we needed grace in the first place. The book assumes certain knowledge as well as a burden of guilt. For instance, the book assumes that the women reading it are overwhelmed with guilt that they don’t do it all. It starts there and then lifts the guilt by showing both forgiveness and comfort that Jesus is enough in and of himself. It shows that the reader doesn’t have to do more. It’s not a terrible assumption to make – and Gerth does a fantastic job of addressing in a compact way those who may not be overwhelmed with guilt because of a guilty conscience, in effect saying, “I’m not talking to you.”
In general, I can recommend this book for reading in a women’s Bible study, except for two glaring errors. One is the typical “You need to accept Christ.” A good Bible study leader will be able to sidestep the sinner’s prayer with panache, I am sure. The other error is so obvious I have a hard time thinking a leader in a WELS church wouldn’t catch it, but it is grievous. One chapter begins with the statement, “We all begin our journeys in the same spot the Israelites did – Egypt. Most biblical scholars believe that Egypt, a place of slavery, represents how we’re all born into sin.” Arrg! I get that the author wants to use the Israelites’ journey as an example, and that’s fine, but to say that it represents something? Please! Thankfully, this error is so obvious, again, I can’t imagine one of our studies not catching and fixing that error in discussion.
The book also comes equipped with a study guide. Unlike many Christian books with study guides, this one actually is helpful in digging a little deeper! So, props for that!
I can recommend this book for women’s Bible studies, assuming the leader is canny. While there are plenty of Scripture references, a good leader will probably use this book to leapfrog deeper into given Scripture passages for a meatier experience. Some of the references are ripped out of context, but again, a good leader will probably recognize the bulk of them and be able to find better passages without looking too terribly hard.
Check it out. Be reminded: God has made you amazing in Christ. You’re already amazing.