Monday, March 23, 2015

Life Unstuck by Pat Layton (book review)

Sometimes we just seem like we're in a rut - we're stuck where we are, how we are, in whatever our circumstances. God doesn't call us out of slavery to sin just to be stuck and not really living free. "Life Unstuck" by Pat Layton is about really getting out of the sticky mess we find ourselves in and finding out how to get unstuck.

I really thought I'd get a deeper read with this "Life Unstuck" but, for the most part, it was a shallow book, very fluffy. Now, that's my opinion, and somebody may really need this book in their life. It just wasn't for me  at this time in my own life.
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Some of the good things I gleaned from this was that yes, we (especially as women) need to change what we believe about ourselves by saying positive things about ourselves. We are so hard on ourselves - give yourself the same grace you'd give your friend. In the latter chapters, Layton also talks about being free to be flawed. I think that's an amazing piece of advice. We're sinners and flawed and we're going to screw up, but we need to realize that our flaws also allow us to depend solely on Christ! If we were perfect, what need would we have for a Savior? Isn't that an intricate thing to think upon?

Some things in "Life Unstuck" really rubbed me the wrong way. Layton's Unstuck Truth #6 is "God delights in amazing you with His love." She quotes Habakkuk 1:5, " Look at the nations and watch - and be utterly amazed. For I am about to do something your days that you would not believe, even if you were told." In the context of this chapter in this book, Layton makes it seem like God was saying He was going to something amazing and fabulous and we have only to watch. However, in the context of Habakkuk, God is telling about the awesome DESTRUCTION of Israel by Babylon coming. I feel like this is a verse very taken out of context. God does amazing things but, in this instance in Scripture, it wasn't a good thing! It was a very hard thing for disobedience. We must be very careful when using and quoting Scripture to not just quote it for a sound bite but to really understand it in context.

The other thing I really disliked about "Life Unstuck" was Layton's announcement that "God never intended for us to forgive ourselves. The Bible does not identify the need to forgive ourselves. In fact, I don't think we are capable of it. When we try to forgive ourselves we seek to do God's work in His place. The very heart of the gospel is not forgiving yourself but accepting God's forgiveness." I think I understand what she's trying to say here; however, forgiving yourself for your past and present and future sins has nothing to do with salvation but has everything to do with moving on and accepting. The purpose of forgiving yourself is in the realization that we are not perfect and that we need a Savior. While the Bible may not specifically speak on forgiving yourself, I believe it's something very important to do in order to not get stuck in the same sin cycles. I do believe we are capable of forgiving ourselves just as we are capable of forgiving others - and neither has anything to do with taking God's work from Him because it's separate from salvation. We cannot forget our sins but we can forgive ourselves.

I think this book has some merit but I think there are many other books that do a better job of helping women break cycles and ruts (like Beth Moore's Breaking Free or Holley Gerth's You're Loved No Matter What).

Disclaimer: I received this book in order to write an honest review. Others may not share my opinions.

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