This book is very autobiographical in nature, as the author uses numerous anecdotes from her own personal experiences not only to elaborate a point, but to teach a point. While this is greatly beneficial to draw a reader in and offer, with humility, constructive criticism, I did find myself wishing the author would pick up the pace and cut to the chase.
Jennifer Dukes Lee begins by confessing her own craving and desire for approval based on her performance which is often masked as a positive trait aka perfectionism. Here's what she says,"You can call it perfectionism if you want, but that's just a symptom of a bigger problem. I've wanted to be approved, I've wanted to be loved."
Slowly working in deeper truths about the reality of her relationship with Jesus, she admits, "If I'm gut-level honest, I've lived like an agnostic." She elaborates further, and I do not doubt her salvation (you probably won't either if you believe in Jesus's saving grace and read to the end of the book), but I find this raw self-portrait to be an honorable thing in today's media and entertainment industries. Delving half-way through the book, another of her confessions hits close to home, "The Bood Gook says that one day, every knee shall bow. But for most of my life, I was a stubborn, lock-kneed insubordinate."
Paul, the former approval seeker, wrote that the opinion of others was not only a little thing, but a very little thing.
A "very little' thing for Paul needs to become a very little thing for you and me, every day.
I say the words out loud, because I need to make them personal. "It matters very little how I might be evaluated."
If we are criticized today, what does it mean? Very little.
If someone corrects us, disagrees with us, or talks poorly of us to others, what does it mean? Very little.
And this: If someone endorses us, applauds our work, affirms our parenting, or offers us praise, what does it mean? Very little.
When you and I no longer rely on praise or approval for our performance, we find new freedom: We an enjoy affirmation without craving it.
***Tyndale House Publishers provided this book to me for free in exchange for an honest review.