I absolutely love to read. I read anything and everything, unless it's an Oprah Book Club book or something like that. My favorites are classic literature, historical fiction, and anything Christian (as long as it lines up with what I believe). Normally, I don't do book reviews, but I've read so many good ones that I think I am going to start. I feel like I can't keep it to myself (kinda like Jesus!).
I've been reading, and just finished, an amazing book called No More Christian Nice Girl.
If you are a woman, especially a Christian woman, you HAVE to read this book.
First, this book explains that what is often the image of Christ in people's minds is wrong. The Bible (John 1) says that He was Truth and Grace, which is the fullness of God in Him. This means that He was both Salt and Light. Most people only see Jesus as the Light, which is soft, humble, non-offensive, etc... But we ignore the Salt part, which is gritty, firm, and somewhat offensive. The Truth, as the author says, is going to offend people. But Jesus NEVER deviated from the Truth, even if it cost him loss of friends and family. We are called by Him to be salt and light. In the book, the author gives hundreds of Scripture examples of times when Jesus spoke the Truth.
Second, this book explains the difference between women who look like Truth and Grace and live for Christ, and women who put on a fake show and are "nice" but not pure of heart.
Third, this book explains why women become catty and competitive and hypocritical. Over the years, I've dealt with more than my fair share of cattiness from other women, especially women in the churches I have attended.
Basically, the author is pleading with us to follow what Romans 12:2 says: "Do not conform to the ways of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what is the will of God, His good, pleasing, and perfect will."
As women, we are taught to keep our mouths shut for the sake of being "humble" and "nice." You know the saying: Sugar and spice and everything nice, that's what little girls are made of. But God wants us to be humble AND bold in our faith, even if we offend people. The author says that most women operate in fear of what others think of them, and that God's chosen women have the holy confidence through Him to stand up for what they believe and not be afraid of what others say, think, or feel about them.
This was a hard, hard concept for me to grasp. I constantly feel like I have to be perfectly nice for the women around me (and sometimes men) so that I don't "hurt" someone else's feelings. There are many times where I have allowed myself to be treated like a doormat for the sake of fitting the mold of what the Christian church tells women they should be: timid, silent, nice, pretty, etc...
The women of the Bible, however (and the author gives several examples), lived with a Spirit-filled boldness and often went beyond what others thought they were capable of in order to do something BIG for God. They weren't afraid. They didn't care what others thought. They weren't out to please man, but to please God. They didn't have to put on a false niceness, because their hearts operated out of a joy and confidence that came from their Master.
Finally, the book gives some great practical advice for getting out of the "nice girl" bubble and how to become more like Christ.
I'd say go and buy this book NOW if you can! Or borrow it from someone. Or check it out of the library. You won't be disappointed, and I know that God will use it in your life.