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Good News That is Actually Good News – The Perfect You

One of my pet peeves is people who rave about a book they’ve read, but when they’re asked to explain why it’s so great, all they respond with is, “You have to read the book!” Seriously? There are a bazillion books out there. Who has the time or the desire to read them all? It’s either laziness or poor communication on the part of the person raving and neither do a thing to whet my appetite.
But I read this amazing book… So now I find myself on the other end of the scenario! LOL However, since I know how irritating it is to not be given any specifics, I’m going to attempt to explain a few reasons why The Perfect You by Andrew Farley and Tim Chalas¹ is a HIGHLY recommended read.

The whole feeling “less than” struggle – is this ever you? Maybe it shouldn’t have come as a surprise to me, but many churches fuel this struggle. Listen to the opening paragraphs of The Perfect You:

As we survey popular Christian messages these days, here are some of the main takeaways:

These incoming messages of “do more” and “be more” are shaping the most common flavors of Christianity today. And they’re triggering an avalanche of worry, shame, and guilt. We start measuring ourselves by an ever-growing list of unrealistic religious standards. Soon we are taken hostage by them.
The message you eventually take in is this: I am not enough.”

I was hooked. I could not put this book down. It is arguably the most impactful book I have ever read, with the exception of the Bible. I wish someone had handed me this book twenty years ago, but it was only just released in March of this year.
This is the description on the back of the book:

Should your heart be tested or trusted? Many believers are convinced they have a “deceitful” and “wicked” heart that is not to be trusted. Theirs is a faith of duty and obligation – only a faint imitation of the full and abundant life Jesus promised.
This provocative book invites you to a radically different approach, an inspiring move from head to heart that affects every aspect of your life: how you handle conflict, how you communicate with and love others, and how you view yourself and God.
“There’s a place of purity within you where Jesus lives. God calls you to live from this perfect place – not merely from your head, but from your heart. Knowing the perfect you means no more waiting for closeness with God. Living as the perfect you brings a freedom in Jesus that you’ve never experienced before.”

Who doesn’t want this freedom? And I’ve begun to re-experience it again! It’s reigniting the love I first felt when I realized what Jesus did for me. But this time I also know that He did something to me. He made me a new creation. And this new creation He birthed is good and therefore I am good. Armed with these truths, I’m recognizing lies masquerading as truth far sooner when they attack with the familiar ring of “you’re not enough.”

All the “do more” and “be more” stuff is another way of saying that God only loves a future version of you (another concept from the book). But that’s not true. God loves you NOW, the way you are. The book explains that the gospel isn’t just what God did for you but what He did to you. He took out the old sinful heart and gave us a new perfect heart!

Most Christian teaching starts with the premise that you want to sin, but you shouldn’t. You want to sin, but you’re not supposed to. Ultimately, this can lead you to a fake-it-until-you-make-it theology: You’re essentially sinful, but you better not sin. Your heart is wicked, but don’t you do anything wicked! But God is not asking you to fake anything. Every ounce of the instruction we see in the New Testament is a perfect description of who you already are on the inside."

If I had to put this book into one sentence, I’d summarize it like this: This book spins all the religious crap off the messages of the gospel we’ve heard and leaves only the shining beauty of the truth.

NOTE: I am not receiving anything for recommending this book to you. It’s just been that life-changing that I want everyone else to experience the same kind of relief it’s giving me!

Pearl Allard is the founder and writer of Look Up Sometimes. Check it out! 

“The sunflower is my spiritual metaphor. Did you know during the sunflower’s bud stage it tracks the sun’s daily movement across the sky? I am an imperfect Son-follower learning to enjoy the grace of Jesus and on mission to nurture others to enjoy it, also — especially the one who thinks she shouldn’t.” – Pearl Allard

1 Farley, Andrew and Tim Chalas. The Perfect You: God’s Invitation to Live from the Heart. Salem Books, 23 March 2021.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of All Unrivaled. Any content provided by our contributors/bloggers/authors are of their opinion and are not intended to malign any religion, ethnic group, club, organization, company, individual or anyone or anything.

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