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This Bible study on the parables of Jesus directs women to upstage their performance-driven lives by living for God's applause alone.
Delving into fresh insights from Jesus’ parables, author and speaker Becky Harling directs you to leave behind a life dependent on the accolades of others and go on a grace-filled journey of seeking God’s applause alone.
This study features discussion-provoking questions and exercises for personal or group study.
• 12 sessions
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Freedom from Performing
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Available in Spanish
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Great book for all women
We live in a performance-based world. There is constant pressure to “do more” and “do better”. Harling talks about the world’s standards of people pleasing compared to what is pleasing to God. Each chapter is scripturally based and focuses on a specific issue, such as allowing ourselves time to rest or getting out of the grip of perfectionism.
The length and content of the chapters are very manageable for the busy woman, with most having less than 20 pages. Harling ends each chapter with a prayer to internalize the message of the chapter and follows with six days of questions. Each day could be completed in 20 minutes, but are in depth enough for those who want to spend more time digging deeper.
I read through this book rather quickly for the purpose of writing my review and plan to go back through it at a much slower pace. It’s very practical and applicable for areas of all women’s lives, whether she is a stay-at-home mom or the CEO of a Fortune 500 company.
Personally, I admire authors who are willing to share their personal experiences when teaching others. It makes me respect them that much more.
7/22/2011 8:13:27 PM
A superb bible study for women
I am and always will be a big “fan” of bible study books. A superb bible study book especially if is written by a woman and meant for women brings a certain delight for me. It makes bible reading more enjoyable and bridges the “gap” of how things in ancient time before and after Jesus Christ and how it can be relevant in modern times.
In this particular bible study, I have learned from Ms. Becky Harling what grace really means. How must of us strive the be the “Super woman or Wonder woman” who strive for the approval of others or simply obsessed on how to pleased them all.
In the process we end up being emotionally and physical exhausted as we try to “perform” in front of the audience which compose mainly of our friends, family, relatives and even God.
Ms. Harling thoroughly explores how we can have authentic grace or how our significance doesn’t come from what we do or from what others expect from our performance.
I truly loved this 12 week bible study and I highly recommend it for individual or group study as this gives you fresh insights as what grace is all about.
7/20/2011 11:49:04 PM
Recommended Ladies' Bible Study
In the small group Bible study "Freedom from Performing," author Becky Harling gently confronts the ideas that Christians must earn the approval of others, work for praise, seek to impress, earn the approval of God, or prove to the world through their actions that they are indeed saved. To do this, throughout the book, she emphasizes different aspects of God’s amazing grace. In fact, each chapter has a one sentence "Grace Glimpse" to highlight the chapter’s point. We rest in God’s grace, and once we’re secure in that, we serve out of gratitude and love as the Holy Spirit leads.
Within each chapter, Harling highlights Bible stories that show God’s grace in action among His people. Her explanations of the cultural concepts behind many of the stories especially appealed to me. She also references many pertinent Bible verses for the reader to look up on her own. Harling also shares parts of her testimony and the testimonies of other women in each chapter in order to show how points apply. As we understand the experiences of others, we can better understand how the message can work in our personal lives. Each chapter ends with a "Message from the Grace Giver"—a letter written as if from God to the reader, a scripture prayer to help the reader internalize grace, and a daily Bible study for the reader to work through on her own to later discuss with her small group.
If you are looking for a great small group Bible study for women, I highly recommend "Freedom from Performing" by Becky Harling. I read it alone and found it so encouraging even that way, but I think the blessings would have been exponential in a group setting. I look forward to reading it again that way someday!
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from NavPress Publishers as part of their Blogger Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
7/17/2011 12:23:53 PM
My new favorite book
I read a lot of books- both fiction and non-fiction, Christian and secular. I usually enjoy the books that I read, then put them away and forget what I've read. But occasionally a book will come along that affects me deeply and really speaks to a need in my life. Freedom from Performing has been one of those books.
Before I got married and had kids, I was very involved with worship ministries at my church. I also had a successful career. So my life was full of lots of external validation and pats on the back. While I love my life now and wouldn't trade it for anything, life as a stay-at-home mom isn't exactly brimming over with validation and thanks for a job well done. And I've been struggling with that, to be honest. Freedom from Performing really speaks to that part of a woman's heart- the part of us that gets our worth from what other people think of us and what they say. It's a book full of wonderful reminders that, above all else, we are daughters of God and He loves us dearly.
I really like the format of Freedom from Performing. Each chapter addresses an important aspect of building our identity in Christ, with lots of examples, stories, Bible verses and prayer. Then at the end of each chapter, there's a short 7-day Bible study on that topic. I'm a busy mom and don't have a lot of spare time for long, involved Bible studies, but this one gets right to the point and does so with scriptures and questions that really made me keep thinking for the rest of the day.
I often pass on books that I receive for review, but this one is going nowhere. It's going to stay right next to my Bible so that I can re-read it and keep hearing these important messages. If you're a Christian woman who is struggling with issues of self-worth and identity, I would highly recommend that you read this fabulous book.
Disclosure: I received this book to review for myself, as part of the NavPress book review program. I was not compensated in any other way and all opinions posted here are mine and mine alone.
7/12/2011 3:55:43 PM
"Freedom from Performing: Grace in an Applause-Driven World", written by Becky Harling, is a Bible study like no other. The book is jam-packed with insightful information for all of us "performers". Included in this book is a 12 week Bible Study, Daily Bible Study, Words from our Savior, and prayers using Scripture. Becky also showcases a parable of Jesus in each chapter!
This book is the perfect Bible Study for groups or individuals! I can see myself leading a Bible Study using only this book and a Bible. There are chapters that can be read and discussed as a group and then there are individual daily studies to bring it all home. I was very impressed with this book. It was an easy read. I understood everything that Becky was saying and often felt that she must know me personally. She tells all "performers" how to let go of past hurts and move on to a grace filled life! I recommend this book to anyone who is a "performer"- someone who is looking for the approval of others.
I received this book free from NavPress Publishers as part of their Blogger Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. 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."
7/12/2011 9:31:43 AM
Helps Women Become Free From Performance-Driven Lives
This is a twelve-week Bible study for women to help them become free from the bondage of performing for other’s approval and also opens them up to receiving God’s grace and acceptance. It is also full of Biblical wisdom to help open them up to some of Jesus’ parables.
I liked reading the “Message from the Grace Giver” and “Praying Scripture to Internalize Grace” in every chapter. The “Message from the Grace Giver” was worded like the Lord was speaking directly to me and the prayers helped me to go deeper into the Lord’s presence to receive the messages that He wanted me to learn from this study.
My favorite topic was about Jesus’ hidden place; this was the place Jesus went to draw closer to God where He didn’t get any applause or affirmation. The topic opened my mind up to the fact that when we go into that hidden place with God He uses our time in there to purify us and to make some changes that He wants to make within us.
There is a Bible study at the end of each chapter broken up into six days worth of Scripture study and reflection which is great for group study or personal reflection.
I recommend this book to women’s Bible study groups that include women who want to learn more about Jesus’ parables, God’s grace, and how to try to live a more performance-free life. I also recommend this book to women who want to learn about these topics during their own personal Bible study time.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from NavPress Publishers as part of their Blogger Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. 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."
6/29/2011 9:08:56 AM
fascinating and well written
I am absolutely fascinated by this book and its message. Any book titled ‘Freedom from Performing’ and subtitled ‘grace in an applause driven world’ and has an attractively presented cover will get attention. What makes this book stand out is its writing, its articulately presented principles and practice, its very honest discussions and its lively and reflective pace.
Designed as a three month women’s study of the Bible, it focuses on the affirmation, accolades, applause and recognition that many women feel they need to define their success. Central is an idea that women are performing a variety of roles in daily life and this performance-driven life creates unrealistic expectations. Changing a focus to the real worth of a created soul made in God’s image changes the emphasis to what we are, not who we are expected to be.
This is a satisfying book to read and work through because it is bright, breezy and challenging without being overpowering. The phrasing of the writing is superb, the natural writing style reflects the author and at times feels almost conversational and the practical study exercises are as reflective as you would want them to be. For some this will be a life-changing book and will be well used. This is gifted communication and a real author discovery for me.
6/27/2011 7:40:14 AM
Freedom from Performing
Becky Harling's new book, Freedom from Performing, is a great resource for women. The book focuses on living by grace and throwing off the chains of a performance driven life. I think that to one degree or another we all struggle with trying to do too much or doing things for the wrong reasons. This study guide addresses those issues in a compelling and straightforward way.
The book has five days of study questions for each chapter so it could be used for a group study. I think the best use would be a personal reflection guide for daily study over a month or two. After reading through the book rather quickly I would like to go back and spend more time reflecting on the topics and letting them sink in.
I loved Becky's focus on grace. She did a great job of pinpointing the theological reasons for setting aside a lifestyle of performance. I would definitely recommend this book to others especially women who are caught up in their to-do's and aren't sure how to break free.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from NavPress as part of their Blogger Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. 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."
6/22/2011 8:44:33 AM
Inspired to change
Becky Harling showed me how to be an image bearer instead of protecting an image in her book Freedom from Performing. In order to illuminate the truths of God’s grace, she shares her own stories about peeling away the layers involved in living for the applause of many, and instead, internalizing grace to accept only the applause of the One who already loves, regardless of performance.
Freedom from shame, living our passion and purpose, release from perfectionism, and putting away the measuring stick – these are just a few of the themes that Becky Harling develops to show how an understanding of grace impacts our lives in practical ways. In each chapter, she shares what God has shown her using a parable as the foundation. At the end of each chapter, she summarizes truth as a message spoken to the reader from God, provides a prayer for conversation with Him, and includes a Bible study with reflective questions for the week.
This book seems to be very specific toward a particular personality type. If you are a high-achiever, multi-tasker, people-pleasing, or Type A personality, then this book may be a great fit for you. If you are relaxed, easy-going, and never have a sense of urgency, perhaps you will find this book harder to relate to. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and plan to keep it in an easily-accessible location on my book shelf so that I can periodically read the ‘message from God’ and the prayers at the end of each chapter until they are ingrained as truth in me.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from NavPress Publishers as part of their Blogger Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. 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."
6/20/2011 8:21:13 PM
Freedom From Performing
Freedom From Performing by Becky Harling is a women’s Bible study designed to encourage women in a daily walk with God. Becky Harling was a performer as a child, teen, young adult, pastor’s wife and mother. If we are honest, we all are seeking applause, rave reviews, and approval from others. Using Jesus’ parables, the author invites the reader to embrace authentic grace and seek the applause of One, our Father, God.
This is a 12 week study for personal use or small groups. Following each chapter is a Daily Dose of Grace where the reader is encouraged to memorize and meditate on verses and answer a few questions throughout the week prior to the next meeting or chapter study. There are many hurting women in the body of Christ and this book could be the stepping stone for them to open and share with those who have experienced similar pain. The chapter topics include:
■how to find freedom from the shame of our past
■how to build a core of grace
■setting boundaries and granting yourself permission to rest
■how to find your unique calling
■ending the envy
■letting go of perfection
■discovering God’s belovedness and grace
■how to walk away from Satan’s bait
■surrendering the hidden places
■living a life of gratitude and in the Spirit
This author writes from experience. Although she has thirty years of presenting God’s Word to women nationally and internationally , her life story is filled with heartache. In this book she opens up about her life as a survivor of breast cancer and sexual abuse, and shares the testimonies of others as well. I encourage you to use this book as a tool in your personal Bible study or church women’s group Bible study.
6/20/2011 4:30:11 AM
Excellent Bible Study
This is one of those books that after closing the book, my mind is thinking "Wow, very powerful words." The author gives a wonderful explanation of grace and makes it applicable to all women. I like that she used some actual stories to add to the understanding of her principles. The book is set up to be used as a 12-week women's Bible study with sections at the end of each chapter that can be done daily. The questions are written for women to ask themselves and contemplate on each area discussed. As women, we try hard to be the perfect wife, the perfect friend, the perfect employee, the perfect mother and on and on and on. But we just set ourselves up for failure as God has never asked us to be perfect and He gives us His grace so that we do not have to. I read the book in a much shorter time than the 12 weeks as designed and I was still able to gain from the book and get a lot out of the reading. I highly recommend this study for women to complete and I can see where using a small group would be beneficial for the study for discussion purposes.
6/8/2011 8:12:37 PM