As a woman, do you suffer from thinking you don’t measure up to others? Do you struggle with constant comparison, hide because you’re afraid, yet want to live a fulfilled life? What does the Bible say about a person’s self-image and how to handle society’s burdens?
Bible Gateway interviewed Jess Connolly (@JessAConnolly), who, along with Hayley Morgan (@hayleyEmorgan), wrote Always Enough, Never Too Much: 100 Devotions to Quit Comparing, Stop Hiding & Start Living Wild and Free (Zondervan, 2018).
Why is your book bound so that half of it is upside down?
Jess Connolly: It’s a flip book! There are two different styles of devotionals: 50 for when women feel like they’re too much and 50 for when they feel like they’re not enough. They’re separate by sides, hence the flip book!
Is this book aimed at a particular female age group?
Jess Connolly: Honestly, these are issues that plague ALL women: college age to grandmothers. Any woman who’s ever struggled to know her place or feel settled in herself, this book is for her!
What is the predominant feeling among women that you’re addressing in the book?
Jess Connolly: Women feel like they’re just not quite right. They feel like they’re too much—too loud, too ambitious, too honest, too fearful. And at the same time they’re constantly feeling like they’re not enough—not strong enough, not pretty enough, not smart enough.
How did you select the Bible passages in the book on which you write each devotion?
Jess Connolly: We used specific Scriptures that had encouraged us; that had spoken truth over our lives. They’re tried and tested and we know these passages will inspire and encourage others.
What’s the concept of “wild freedom” you’ve ingrained in the book and why is it important?
Jess Connolly: Wild freedom speaks to to our God-given identity as daughters of Christ. Made whole and good, like wild animals—not needing to be chained or contained. The freedom is a direct correlation to our liberty in Christ.
What do you want this book to accomplish in its readers’ lives?
Jess Connolly: We want it to encourage and inspire women to feel good about who God has made them to be and we also want it to help them speak truth to their friends!
What is a favorite Bible passage of yours and why?
Jess Connolly: 2 Corinthians 12:9 is my absolute favorite passage of all time! It reminds me that the American desire to be strong and self sufficient isn’t the kingdom way. Weakness, humility, and dependency on Christ is where I find my abundance.
What are your thoughts about Bible Gateway and the Bible Gateway App?
Excerpt from Always Enough, Never Too Much: 100 Devotions to Quit Comparing, Stop Hiding & Start Living Wild and Free (Zondervan, 2018).
Even When You Make Mistakes
There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you[a] free from the law of sin and death. Romans 8:1-2 (NIV)
These verses of Romans 8 were the first I really memorized as an adult, and they changed my life. It was in a season when I was moving past just believing the gospel and learning to receive the good news for myself. I’d been a believer in Jesus for almost ten years, but I’d found myself broken and busted after a decade of cracks and mistakes. I didn’t understand why I was still struggling with some of the same old stuff. I didn’t understand why I just kept messing up. I was tired of me and sure that the Lord was too—not to mention the humans who had to put up with me every day.
I’ll never forget my husband sitting me down and saying, “Jess, you believe the gospel, but you don’t like receiving it. You’re a new creation, but you’re going to need grace for the rest of your life. There is no condemnation for you. We all make mistakes, and we’re all going to keep making mistakes.”
In that moment, as I sat on our cheap brown couch we’d gotten off Craigslist, the Lord opened my eyes to the actual beauty of the gospel. Suddenly it was like I could see the world in color. I could see my need for Him, not with disdain, but with eyes of gratitude and joy. I could perceive other people’s cracks and mistakes without getting incredibly frustrated with them, and instead could see them covered in the same grace that I so desperately needed.
I began pacing around my house repeating those words—There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
Have you made a mistake or a misstep? Maybe it’s small, but lingering in your soul. Maybe it’s huge, and the idea of calling it just a mistake is causing tears to well up in your eyes. What I love about the word mistake is that it speaks to some surprise on our part. Maybe we did the thing willingly and knowingly, but it’s not what we thought we’d do. Maybe you hurt someone, but you certainly didn’t premeditate it for months. We can often be surprised that we still have a fallen nature. We can be surprised by our mistakes. But do you know who isn’t? The One who extended grace.
When Jesus hung on the cross for you, when He purchased your place in the family of God, the Father knew about every single mistake you’d make—small, big, devastating, even the ones you wouldn’t know to repent of. And He said that you are enough to die for, worthy of saving, found in need of grace— not because you’ve done everything right, but because He made you and loves you. Your mistakes can’t keep you from Him; He’s said that there is now no condemnation for you.
Always Enough, Never Too Much is published by HarperCollins Christian Publishing, Inc., the parent company of Bible Gateway.
Bio: Jess Connolly is a gal who wants to leave her world more in awe of God than she found it. She’s the founder of Amen Paper Company, the cofounder of The Influence Network, and she is passionate about using her words to point women to Jesus through writing and speaking. She coauthored the bestselling book Wild and Free and writes at jessconnolly.com. She and her husband planted Gospel Community, a church in Charleston, SC where they live with their four wild kids and their sweet dog.
Hayley Morgan is a writer, speaker, and entrepreneur who inspires women to create lives of more passion and less fuss. She and her husband started Wildly Co., an ethical children’s clothing line, and she is also the cofounder of the Influence Conference and Network. Hayley lives in Indianapolis, Indiana, with her husband and their four sons. She blogs at HayleyEMorgan.com.
You’re missing out if your not yet a member of Bible Gateway Plus. Try it right now!