Girl, Go Rest In Jesus

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I admit that until a year ago I hadn’t ever heard of Rachel Hollis. 

I first heard of her when book reviews of Girl, Go Wash Your Face began filling up my Facebook timeline. When I realized that this was the book everyone was reading, I read some of the reviews and decided that it was not a book I was very much interested in.

It was after I shared one review to my Facebook page that I realized that my readers were reading her stuff.

When I saw that Girl, Stop Apologizing was published,  I knew I needed to read it so that I could get a feel for what my readers were reading so I could speak to them intelligently about her work.

Rachel Hollis' new book Girl, Stop Apologizing tells us to try harder, work harder. But how does her message line up with God's word? Girl, go rest in Jesus! #alittlerandr #rachelhollis

I want to start off by saying that despite the reviews I read for Girl, Go Wash Your Face, I have purposed to keep an open mind while reading Girl, Stop Apologizing.

I have never done a review of a book before where I didn’t start out with the intent to promote the book; so this kind of a review is new to A Little R & R.

There are three major concerns I have about Girl, Stop Apologizing, but before I get to them, I feel the need to point out three minor concerns that I have.

1. It’s distinct lack of anything spiritual or biblical at all

Because Girl, Stop Apologizing is ranking #1 in Religion and Spirituality on Amazon, I expected there to be at least an undertone of spiritual and biblical content.

Not only was there nothing at all to indicate that this book was spiritual in any way, beyond very overt humanistic doctrine, there were several instances of light profanity, one instance of out-right profanity, and several other vulgar statements. 

2. It’s distinct air of superiority Rachel Hollis’ air of superiority is thick throughout this book. So much so, that I had a very hard time getting through it.

3. It’s distinct air of female empowerment and feminism

When I set out to write this review, my one goal was to not make this a rant about a book that I disagree with on nearly every level.

Opinions aside, I wanted to share what I felt was fundamentally wrong with this book and counteract that with the truth of God’s Word.

I have read many books that I disagreed with, but was able to pull out a takeaway or two – making the book worth my while to read.

We can learn from people we don’t necessarily agree with.

But it is another thing entirely when a book fundamentally goes against what the Bible teaches and promotese a doctrine of its own – and that is what Girl, Stop Apologizing does.

1. Your success is your greatest treasure

Throughout Girl, Stop Apologizing, we not only read repeatedly, ad nauseum, about her amazing success as a business owner, hard-nosed determination to succeed, and the numerous sacrifices she has made for her “audacious goals”, as she calls them, we are told that we are settling if we don’t follow her example.

Your lack of success can be summed up in a list of excuses that make up the first half of the book.

She goes on to share a personal story about her 11th birthday party, after her mom had left her father. They were living in a small, meager apartment and her birthday party was considerably less than what she was used to before.

It was then that she made up her mind that when she was independent, she’d never live like that again. She fantasized about a life where she had everything she wanted.

But nowhere in the book do we read about trusting God for our needs.

Instead, its all about achieving success by dreaming, goal-planning, organizing our life, and even hiring help to do the things we can’t do on our own.

Stop relying on other’s support to get there and believe in yourself and your capability to become successful.

But how does the Bible define success?

  • Psalms 1 describes a successful man as one who lives righteously
  • Psalms 119 describes a successful man as one who loves God’s law
  • Hebrews 11 defines a successful person as one who lived a life of faith, pleasing to God, and sacrificed everything – even their own lives – for God’s name

David said, “I have been young, and now am old; Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, Nor his descendants begging bread.” Psalm 37:25

He also said, “Some trust in chariots, and some in horses; But we will remember the name of the LORD our God.” Psalm 20:7

Biblical success isn’t defined by the size of your bank account, house, or cost of living. It isn’t defined by whether or not you can afford a nanny, housekeeper, personal trainer, or first-class.

Success is defined by where your heart is.

Jesus said, “Where you treasure is, there will your heart be also.” So when our treasure is in heaven, we can live in Section 8 housing on the wrong side of the tracks and if our treasure is in heaven, we are successful by God’s standards.

2. Worship of self, dreams, goals, and hustles

Girl, Stop Apologizing is all about how it is time for women to stop apologizing for wanting more than just being a stay-at-home mom.

It’s time to see our value as female contributors to society, as entrepreneurs and business owners, and start going after our audacious dreams.

No, you can’t balance it all – that’s a myth. But you can – and need to – make necessary sacrifices for those dreams.

And stop apologizing.

Stop asking permission.

Stop expecting validation.

It’s time to put yourself first, and stop serving other’s dreams and goals. 

This absolutely flies in the face of everything the Bible teaches us. And while Hollis claims that she doesn’t advocate being selfish, that is, in fact, what she is advocating.

She tells us to stop serving others’ dreams, Philippians 2:4 says, “Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.”

She tells us to stop living to please those around us, Proverbs 11:25 says, “The generous soul will be made rich, and he who waters will also be watered himself.”

1 Corinthians 10:24: “Let no one seek his own, but each one the other’s well-being.”

You can find more verses on selflessness here: 14 Bible Verses For When You Are Selfish

3. Try Harder, Work Harder

In a statement: This book was exhausting. Utterly exhausting.

I had heard this about her previous book Girl, Go Wash Your Face, and it was definitely true about this one!

She says, “You willing to give up a little of today’s rest for tomorrow’s possibilities?” 

She talks about the things she’s given up for her dreams: rest, sleep, family time, restful evenings with her husband.

Now, I’m not 100% against the idea that there may be times a mom with a side hustle has to give up a family night so that she can earn a little extra cash for the family budget.

I do that – I’m doing that right now.

But, the “Do more, try harder” philosophy doesn’t sit well with me, and here’s why.

Psalm 27:1-2 says, Unless the LORD builds the house, They labor in vain who build it; Unless the LORD guards the city, The watchman stays awake in vain. It is vain for you to rise up early, To sit up late, To eat the bread of sorrows; For so He gives His beloved sleep.”

Jesus says, “Come to me all you who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

But the “try harder, work harder” philosophy plays right into our own inate desire to be self-made people. It fits hand-in-glove with our deep longing for significance…

and we think we can purchase that significance with our own blood, sweat, and tears. 

“If I just tried harder I can…”

In the end, Girl, Stop Apologizing, isn’t a Christian book. I didn’t read one thing in this book that pointed me to God, that promoted my spiritual growth, or that inspired me to deepen my faith in Him.

I did read a lot of statements that pointed me to my dreams, that promoted my personal growth, and that was meant to inspire me to believe in myself.

This is a humanistic book, plain and simple. 

Resources for Rest:

3 Ways We Can Find Rest

When Your Soul Needs Rest

The Powerful Quality of a Quiet Spirit

5 Really Good Reasons Why You Can Stop Worrying Right Now

What is Your Fight Song?

4 Amazing Steps for When You’re Out of Control

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  1. I’m not aware of these books, Roz, but your explanations assure me that I would not recommend them. Thanks for this thorough explanation with Scriptural confirmation. I pray women will see the errors this book promotes.

  2. Thank you for speaking the truth in love about these books. I read just a sample of her last book and was shocked so many of my friends read it and thought it was wonderful. The Bible talks about wolves in sheep’s clothing and I believe she is one of them. Thank you for pointing us back to scripture in this post and reminding us of God’s truth vs false teachers.

  3. I felt the same as you when I first read the reviews and abouts for girl wash your face. It’s a self-help book through and through. Honestly, I did not expect much from the second one either.

    Thanks for the rundown so I can be sure that I made the right choice to stay away from these.

    It’s very sad how so many go after readings and theories that stray so far from the word of God when opening the bible I so much simpler and healthier.

  4. Thank you Roz. Your review just goes to show how careful we must be to investigate who is writing and what they believe in, first and foremost. Just because a writer says they are Christian does not mean they are writing for the benefit of Christians’ walks. We tend to assume that the content will be reliable and biblically based because it is written by a Christian writer but just as your review speaks, their is no biblical content. Let us ask for wisdom and discernment before we choose our learning material. Thank you again Roz!

  5. Thank you so much for this information. I havent read the book and have no plans to do so. I pray younger ladies do not fall into the trap of indulging in reading it either. Its such a shame that this person does not fully understand, nor seem to care, that in writing this, that many women will read this and think it’s the proper way to live a Christian life. Sheep in wolf’s clothing for sure. Stand firm in His words, stay prayed up, wear His armor and stand against satan’s evil ways. Bless you Roz

  6. Thank you for addressing this. When I was trying to be a Beachbody coach, we were told to read personal development daily. So I was reading a lot of this stuff. But I kept hearing things that were red flags in my spirit. A lot of Christian coaches promoting these books and the speakers or writers using the God card but contradicting him.

  7. I am in the middle of reading Girl, Stop Apologizing. I appreciate your independent thought and critical thinking in reviewing this book. I also appreciate your challenging Hollis’ philosophies of success with biblical references. I think that this is a wonderful book for building self-esteem and bringing awareness to codependent behaviors ( which are dysfunctional
    At best and toxic at worst). I believe that spirituality and empowerment can coexist. Hollis did mention many times that being a stay-at-home mom is the hardest job there is and that she has the utmost respect for stay-at-home-moms. She merely stated that she finds meaning and encouragement through her career. Your review definitely challenged my thoughts on the book, and I have to agree, parts of the book are exhausting.

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