“It’s not me, it’s you….”
The bad breakup line always seemed so unfair. It’s been my habit to live life assuming there’s always something I can do…some level of responsibility I have to take if I’m truly loving. But over the years, I’ve met the people-pleasers dilemma: some people aren’t pleasable.Try as we might, in some cases it’s true: despite 'me' and my best efforts, it’s 'you'…. Click To Tweet
Living this truth has given me an appreciation for God’s Word in Romans 12:18:
“If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all…”
Holley Gerth’s newest book, Fiercehearted, holds a merciful chapter outlining this principle.
She describes receiving comments on the same blog post. One commenter was upset, believing her to be exceptionally strict in her view. Another was equally put off, but because she saw Gerth as far too gracious.
Gerth defines two “twin truths.”
She explains: “I do not control how other people respond. Other people do not control how I respond.” In her characteristically disarming tone, Gerth continues:
“We get confused sometimes and think loving means making everyone happy. But we have no power of this kind. We might as well say loving means making the sun rise. What loving does mean is being intentional in the way we treat those around us…”
This is just one example of the many practical and gentle truths Gerth shares in Fiercehearted. Other topics include:
- The difference between kindness and niceness
- Quiet strength
One quote that well summarizes the heart of this book is:
“We can sometimes intellectualize faith to the point where learning takes the place of living.”
Standing on this observation about faith, Fiercehearted is a rare, warm, welcoming collection of stories and thoughts that demonstrate faith-living. Each chapter is short, memorable, and endearing.
The book reads the way conversations with seasoned women of faith tend to go: part story, part reflection, part tender loving care, part necessary truth.
Ultimately, I believe the point of the book is to encourage women to live as those who are fiercehearted:
Brave, and loving.
Strong, and peaceful.
Honest, and gentle.
Confident, and humble.
Self-aware, and others-focused.
Steady, and safe because of the Savior.
We can be both fierce and full of heart in Christ. And “we get to choose.”
For women who enjoy deep, honest conversation full of warmth, humor, whimsy, and faith, I highly recommend Fiercehearted. I know it’s one I’ll be referencing, rereading, and sharing often in the future.
<This review was written in exchange for a pre-release copy of the book from the publisher.>
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