Remember Wild & Free?
When reading Wild & Free I felt empowered to my core, I read it with energy and gusto. It made me active and actively changed me. Preach to Yourself, is not quite the same. While Wild & Free felt youthful and energetic, Preach to Yourself is more like sitting down and having that HARD conversation with someone you love. And you have that conversation out of love.
I have my moments when I can be hard on myself, my expectations, my work but overall this book revealed to me I’m not THAT hard on myself. I also have a spouse with depression, so how I perceive my thoughts and their negativity level are always gauged to his. Whether I want to or not.
Hayley reminded me that HOW we not only speak to each other, and to ourselves are equally important. I have someone in my life who I’ve always heard them say to themselves how stupid they are. I remember this as a young child, teenager, and even as a young adult. They still do this to this day.
The impression it made on me was no matter my mistakes or failures I’m not that. It taught me early on to recognize HOW I talk to myself when no one else is around. While I don’t believe I am stupid, I do constantly question myself, my abilities, and if I deserve things in life. Did I work hard enough for that? Do I deserve to be as happy as I want to be? Will I ever achieve this goal, what if I don’t? When I do this will I make them happy?
Hayley breaks down our inner critic into digestible chunks so that it doesn’t feel like we are taking it all on by ourselves. She is quick to note we cannot over come our inner critic without some serious changed to our spiritual life. And not just another bible study can fix this. We have to do soul work, we have to understand we cannot fix ourselves. We have to humbly approach God and ask for help. We need vulnerability in our lives to have God support us. Hayley points out that we’ve created a culture in America that prizes “Do it Yourself” over all else. Do it yourself and don’t use financial aid from your parents, do it yourself and work 60 hours a week and run ragged and still have it all together, do it yourself and whatever you do don’t look less than perfect.
Sounds like a harsh assessment of our Christian culture but it’s pretty accurate. I do everything within my power to not depend on anyone else. Heaven forbid, I look incapable of adulting in this modern era.
Hayley uses scripture & science to talk about how God can and does change us when we are incapable of doing that very thing on our own. God never called us to renew on our own, that’s the work He does within us. It’s hard, slow, tough work over a period of time.
While I loved and mulled over Preach to Yourself for nearly 2 weeks, what really changed me was the Talkback with Truth Scripture Cards that I received as a free download for signing up for the book club. These have shaped my mornings. Each morning, I draw a card read it and then pray over that scripture and myself for the day. They remind me that I am a loved child of God and that He can do anything, no matter my human, personal, and emotional shortcomings.
Preach to Yourself is a reminder that how we speak to ourselves when no one else is around matters like really matters to our overall health & wellbeing and that to truly be dependant on God requires humility & community.
Hayley also tells readers this internal renewing of ourselves with God will not make life easier. It will be better but He never promises us earthly success, or wealth. The renewing of our minds and consistent renewal by Him will make us more like Christ, more aware of God and what He is doing and capable of when we don’t try to do it on our own.
Overall, I give Preach to Yourself, 4 stars. It can be a bit slow at times, but Hayley does a great job translating personal experience, science and critical scriptural reading into useful information for everyone to learn from.
Looking to change the message of your inner critic? Grab a copy of Preach to Yourself and then Sign Up for Hayley’s Book Club. Be prepared to do hard work friends, because it will not be easy or fast or immediate.
I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher. All opinions and thoughts are my own.