It’s Not Me, It’s You (And That’s Okay)

Living out our faith sometimes means admitting that it's not me, it's you. And that's okay. God's grace is enough.

“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:

  • Grief
  • Disappointment
  • Introversion
  • 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.”

It's not me, It's you. But that's actually okay. Living faith means being kind and strong at the same time.

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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18 Replies to “It’s Not Me, It’s You (And That’s Okay)

  1. Yes! I loved Holley’s book, too, and seem to find that the more I enjoy a book, the harder time I have writing my review. (Is that weird?)
    That point about intellectualizing our faith really stood out to me as well.
    As usual, Bethany, you’ve made me glad that we are traveling through a book and its lessons together!

    1. I don’t think that’s weird!! I had a hard time with this one because I loved it and the style was so different from most that I review : ) I’ll have to go looking for your review now! Glad to be travelling this with you too, Michele!

  2. I so relate to the feeling that there always must be something I can do–to make a relationship or a situation better–but like Gerth says, we have no control over how the other people involved will act or respond. This is such an important thing to grasp!

    1. I can too, and yes, so important to grasp this! Dr. Henry Cloud writes a lot on this topic- you might like his facebook page for that reason too : )

    1. One more reason we can’t rely on other people’s responses as our measures of right or good! Thanks, Kelly!

  3. Glad to read your review here. I hadn’t realized how many different topics it touched on. (That is hilarious about the comments on her blog.) So good to remember we can’t control other’s responses to us.

    1. Isn’t that funny? I have a hunch you’ll cherish this book too, Betsy! So many topics, such concise writing (much like your’s!), and lovely humor, grace, and reflections.

  4. It’s so important to remember that we can’t please everyone- I tried for a long time 🙂
    The book sounds great- I’ve heard about it a few times now and I’d definitely like to read it.

    1. Me too, Lesley! Thankful we don’t have to! Let me know if you do read it, I think you’ll enjoy it too! I’d love your thoughts on her reflections on childlike faith : )

  5. Bethany, I appreciate this review of Fiercehearted. There are so many books I want to read, and this is up there on my wish list. I loved the list of qualities we can live out as fierce-hearted women. They seem like either/or upon first read, but we can live each side of them, can’t we?

    Thanks for sharing this!

    1. Thank you, Jeanne, so glad! Yes and amen to being able to live both “sides!”

      I hear you, my to-read list is long and it’s hard to pick and choose. Fiercehearted was actually one I wanted to read, but wasn’t sure would make my “soon” or “Christmas” list. Then it came up for review and is now known by my husband as “that book I wasn’t sure about and loved and adore.” Let me know when/if you read, I think you’ll enjoy it!

  6. What a key destinction to make between loving and people pleasing. I’m afraid the world has it terrible confused. Thanks for a clear review of this book.

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