Thursday, February 14, 2013

{Review & Giveaway} The Utter Relief of Holiness by John Eldredge

Utter Relief of Holiness

I received this book last month and I was suppose to have a review written on it by the end of January. Somehow I kept putting it off. I'm really not sure why. It's not a large book. I wanted to read it which is why I offered to do the review and giveaway. I've heard of John Eldredge and have some other books by him as well.

And then I started reading it. That's when I realized, deep down, why I had kept putting it off. This book, for me at least, contains a life-changing message. It's not one you can read and say, "Yeah, I agree with that" and then go on and live your life the same way. For me, it's one that is making me really exam my life and my choices and see where changes need to be made and that's scary and hard.

The Utter Relief of Holiness: How God's Goodness Frees Us From Everything That Plagues Us by John Eldredge is so popular at the moment that you can't even buy a copy from the link I just sent you to. What does Eldredge even mean by "The Utter Relief of Holiness?" I can't put it in to words as well as he does....

"It may seem strange at first because I don't believe most folks think of holiness as an utter relief. Hard perhaps, boring if we're honest, necessary like flossing, a level of spirituality we might attain to one day. But a relief? Look at it this way: Ask the anorexic young girl how she would feel if she simply no longer struggled with food, diet, exercise - if she simply never even gave it another thought. Ask the man consumed with jealousy how he would feel if he woke one day to discover that all he once felt jealous over was simply gone. Ask the raging person what it would be like to be free of rage or the alcoholic what it would be like to be completely free from addiction. Take the things you struggle with and ask yourself, 'What would life be like if I never struggled with this again?'"

If you are anything like me, we all have struggles in life. They can seem minor but somehow seem to consume so much of us. As a child I was very shy - sometimes painfully so. Social situations were so very hard for me. Any new situation could send me into a tailspin.

I can still vividly remember my first day of middle school. I was 10 years-old and all the area elementary schools would be coming together at the local middle school for grade five through eight. I knew about a fourth of the students I would be attending school with. However, it was a brand new school with new teachers, new students, new subjects, new everything and I was a mess. After the first day, I was fine, but that first day was so very hard both physically and emotionally.

Goodness Chalkboard

Over the years I have come to realize that the shyness was just complete self-absorption on my part - too much time thinking about myself. I have worked hard to overcome my natural tendencies.

Eldredge actually addresses a lot of these types of things in his book. You may think it's part of your personality, but is it really? Or is it a way to control the situation. If it's control you want, then where does God fit in to that picture?

Needless to say, this book is making me examine my life and my choices quite closely in view of God's holiness and what He desires for my life - not where my comfort lies.

About the Author: John Eldredge has written 12 books, including Beautiful Outlaw and New York Times bestsellers Wild at Heart and Captivating (written with his wife Stasi). His books have sold more than 8 million copies. He is the Director of Ransomed Heart, a ministry devoted to helping people discover the heart of God. It has become a grassroots phenomenon with millions of followers.


I will be giving away one copy of this book to a reader. Simply leave me a comment letting me the name of the last book you read that made you think. I will pick a winner on February 28, 2013.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.


  1. I would love to win this book. :) The last book I read was Gods and Generals and it made me think some. :)


  2. This sounds like a really good book! The last book I read that "made me think" was Let.It.Go. By Karen Ehman.

  3. Looks like a great book! One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp

  4. Hi Lisa,

    Great blog post. Thanks for writing this review.

    The last book I read that really made me think deeply about life was also by John Eldredge. The book was called “Walking with God” and what I loved about it most was its simple premise and the insight it gave into intimacy with God. John chronicled his every day experience of walking, talking and listening with God over the course of a year. He made it seem so…natural. Especially the part about listening to God.

    John gave example after example about ways both small and great in which he talks, listens and responds to God’s leading. He also gives examples of how he prays and what he prays for. Just wonderful!

    It’s not the kind of book that gives you “10 Ways To Do This” or “5 Principles To Achieve That.” It’s really an experiential book. Loved it.

    By the way, I really like the graphic you use in your blog of the quote on "goodness" from John's new book. Would you mind if I borrow it for my own blog at

    Thanks, Todd