(Book review) An Imperfect Woman


Reviewed byMegan Burkhart, a professional writing student at Taylor University.

 


Introduction

Title: An Imperfect Woman

AuthorKim Hyland

Publisher: Baker Books

Publication DateFebruary 6, 2018

Format: Paperback

Length: 211 pages

OVERVIEW

Kim Hyland opens her book with a challenging image: a beautiful terra-cotta pot has been cracked.  At first glance it would seem that the beautiful vase is now disfigured, ruined, and no longer functional.  However, surprisingly, when a candle is set inside and the lights are turned off, the glow from the fire shines through and illuminates everything around it. Beauty emerges from brokenness. This image serves as one of the metaphors for his book’s theme of restoration, reconciliation, and revival.

Hyland focuses this idea throughout four designated parts of her book, which are The Gospel’s Proclamation, The Gospel’s Promise, The Gospel’s Price, and the Gospel’s Power. Each part gets to the root of perfectionism and the subtle lies it speaks. Hyland bases her story on the teaching of Scripture, and especially the Gospel’s message of freedom and grace.

She calls her readers to re-evaluate the things the world tells them they need to be. This means rejecting pride, condemnation, shame, anxiety, false security, idols, lies, comparison, and worldly plans. These are easy things to fall into and to think can be done on one’s own. Hyland urges readers, instead, to turn their focus on Jesus. When this happens, readers can find purpose in their sufferings and trust Christ’s eternal plans for their lives. The greatest freedom and joy come from complete and humble surrender.

At the end of each chapter is a series of self-reflection questions. These questions stimulate thoughts related to material found in the chapter and also about one’s personal faith story. The depth and scope of these questions help to lead the readers not just to ponder, but also to wrestle with perfectionism’s effect on their lives. Hyland weaves open and honest parts of her personal story throughout as well, helping her readers connect with her. Her empathy for women struggling with perfectionism and the need to have life “all together” is evident throughout her book, and her message always circles back to the Gospel. Jesus’ perfect love is more than enough, and, therefore, readers can be encouraged that they do not have to strive to be enough on their own.

ASSESSMENT

Rating (1 to 5)

4 stars

Suggested Audience

Hyland speaks to a female Christian audience, especially moms. However, her insights are applicable to anyone who struggles with perfectionism.

Christian Impact

Hyland uses Scripture throughout her book to back up her claims and encourage her readers in the truth of the Gospel message. She also has discussion questions that provoke self-reflection on one’s own story and relationship with God.

 

 


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The Evangelical Church Library Association, founded in 1970, is a fellowship of Christian churches, schools, and individuals.

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