How the Gospel Frees Us from a Life of Striving
by Kaitlin Garrison
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Pub Date 16 Aug 2022 | Archive Date Not set
Abilene Christian University Press & Leafwood Publishers, Leafwood Publishers
“I am not enough.”
Embrace the power of these four words that can free you from a lifestyle of striving.
There are many areas in life where we strive to be enough: jobs, relationships, personal disciplines—the list goes on. In a culture that celebrates and encourages a work-to-earn mentality, it is no surprise that this same, formulaic pattern has bled into our faith. It is easy to become trapped in the exhausting cycle of trying to be good enough for God. But God is not after our well-polished performance but rather our full assurance in the sufficiency of his Son!
As a longtime church gal, Kaitlin knows the struggle of feeling caught in a perpetual lifestyle of trying to please God and others through outward behavior. In Sweet Relief, Kaitlin tackles four prevalent false gospels that can keep us stuck in our cycles of striving. She reintroduces us to the simple gospel that banks on the grace of God rather than our own sufficiency. The reader will walk away confident that their standing with God is not centered on the good things they can do for him but on the finished work of Jesus who has already won it all on their behalf.
We aren’t perfect people. We can exhale when we don’t measure up. Because our hope is not in what we do but in the reality that he is enough.
“This book is like savoring a warm cup of coffee with a friend. Kaitlin speaks straight to the heart of the try-hard life and points you to Christ who did all the work required. Her words will challenge, encourage, and cheer you on as you rest in the freedom of the gospel.”
—Michelle Rabon, author of Holy Mess
“This vibrant storyteller recounts the exhausting journey that millions of women—and also men like my two coendorsers—have felt trapped in. Invest a few hours with Kaitlin Garrison and you may well experience Sweet Relief the rest of your life.”
—Brittany Sawrey, Director of Content, Trueface; author of Two Roads, Crazy Making, and Healing Relationships
—Robby Angle, President, Trueface; author of The Cure for Groups
—Dr. Bruce McNicol, President Emeritus, Trueface; coauthor of The Cure
“It’s possible to have just enough of Jesus not to need him. Just enough knowledge, just enough language, just enough of the lifestyle to have the appearance of Christianity without the abundant life God intended. Thankfully, Katilin Garrison won’t let us settle. Drawing on stories from her own life and wise biblical insight, Kaitlin is waking us up to the freedom we were created. If you are a lifelong Christian who keeps wondering if there is something more, you will find the answer in these pages.”
—Sharon Hodde Miller, author of Nice: Why We Love to Be Liked and How God Calls Us to More
“The struggle to ‘do enough’ and ‘be enough’ for God has been the reality of my life over the years. Sweet Relief puts words to this tension we can all face and reveals the one thing we’ve been missing all along—the love of Jesus! Filled with truth and hope, there is freedom to be found in these pages!”
—Ruth Schwenk, coauthor of Trusting God in All the Things; Founder of TheBetterMom.com
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 10 members
If you're looking for freedom from an achievement based mindset and never feeling like you've done enough for God- this is a book I highly recommend. Kaitlin Garrison is a first time author who shares her story of chasing perfection to feel worthy of God and how she realized she is more than enough no matter how hard she works. This is spectacularly researched and heavily based on Scripture. She walks you through false Gospels that get you stuck striving, and shares the sweet, sweet truth that you are already enough because of what He has done. A sincere thank you to Abilene Christian University Press for the complimentary copy via Netgalley.
Kaitlin is such an expressive writer! Ok, so I typically don’t seek out non-fiction. While it is informative I also find it VERY boring. But this book was so BEAUTIFUL. I loved her writing style and “voice”. She grabbed my attention from the beginning, bringing the point to the forefront through stories and illustrations. It kept me interested the entire tim3”e, and it was something I needed (and I think at times we all need) to hear. It beautifully reintroduces the gospel, allowing the reader to “remember their first love” so to speak. Definitely a recommend. Read it if you feel adrift, and need to remember what’s good about the good news again.
I love how this book guide us to have our freedom from our achievement-based mindset about grace. You know that sometimes we had this feeling of never enough, no matter how many things we have done in the name of faith. It's because we didn't grasp the true meaning of grace. We do 'faithful' things in our standards. The writing style feel so friendly and so raw.
As a Christian, life can often overtake us and our values replaced with those that surround us. Kaitlin Garrison asks us in this book to use our God given spirit to be who we are, to not seek the impossible. She shows us that we don’t need to tick off a checklist to achieve God’s grace, but to surround ourself in His love. Going to Church and doing masses of outreach doesn’t make you a better Christian if you are doing it for a check on the list, instead Garrison calls us to free ourselves from that list and reach for the spirit.
This would be a great book for a Church group to use for discussion or to develop ideology for a mission plan.
Kaitlin Garrison has opened her heart and stripped away the legalism of her beliefs. She walks the reader through her journey into grace from God. She breaks down the walls of believing that she had to earn her grace with good deeds.
What a wonderful devotional book. This would be ideal for a small group, individual or Bible study.
I highly recommend.
I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
This book is full of so much goodness. Sweet relief is a call to stop living lives of striving and self sufficiency, to stop trying to be enough, living constantly unsatisfied, and instead to drink from the streams of living water that truly satisfy, letting Christ be our ultimate source and sustainer, and to discover that the only way we will truly be enough is through him.
Kaitlin’s voice is friendly and relatable, and this book whilst convicting doesn’t feel like it’s shouting at you, more like your hearing it from a friend over a cup of coffee. Kaitlin has obviously done a lot of research and study before writing this book, however it is presented in a way that is easy to understand and so encouraging.
I loved the practical resources in this book, each chapter ends with a couple of questions you could journal, and that went deeper in part three where each chapter ended with a reflection, some journal prompts, scripture to memorise and a call to action.
Sweet Relief was the breath of fresh air that women need as they continually face a world saying that they aren't enough and never will be and allow that lie to sneak into their relationship with God too. Garrison effectively breaks down the false gospels we write in our minds and then introduces the incredible freedoms we can walk in thanks to a relationship with Jesus. Honestly written and full of truth, this book is a must read! It also features great application and reflection pieces at the end of each chapter, helping readers to actually apply the truths of this book to their lives.
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Lynette Eason; Lynn H. Blackburn; Natalie Walters