I recently received a review copy of Joyce Meyer’s newest book, Eat the Cookie…Buy the Shoes: Giving Yourself Permission to Lighten Up and I must say that I have been pleasantly surprised by this book. The goal of this book seems to be a pendulum swing from pressuring ourselves and feeling guilty for receiving anything to realizing that seasons of enjoyment can actually be healthy for us and that we don’t have to feel guilty over the things we enjoy (within certain limits, of course). Because this book is attempting to swing a pendulum there are times I felt the point was pushed a little too far in the sense that it felt bordering on a little self-centeredness. But I don’t think that was the point. The point isn’t to be self-centered or to be hedonistic. The point is that it is alright to slow down and enjoy life.
Meyer keeps coming back to scripture to make her points, something that I am always happy to see. Her use of scripture was typically pretty good, although there was a point in her explanation of 1 Peter 3 that she seemed to explain things away by tweaking the text a bit. But overall, I think she was pretty fair with the texts she used to make her points.
I have been under quite a bit of stress over the last several weeks for a variety of reasons. I have to include in this post that this book was such a help to me. I really felt myself slowing down and reflecting on the things that I am so thankful for. She offered such a good reminder of how good God is to us and that no matter how bad things get, we are still so blessed. This book really did put a smile on my face at a time when that is exactly what I needed. It relieved some of my stress and built up my faith toward some of the difficult things that have been sources of stress over the last month.
The only real criticism I would have of this book is that some times this book seems to aim a little too low. What I mean by that is, there are times in this book when it seems like she is saying our joy comes from the blessing, rather than the God behind the blessing. So it is not that we are made happy by cookies or buying shoes but that God has blessed us enough to even ask which of those we are able to enjoy in a given day. I know she would agree with what I just said, so I am hesitant to say it is a criticism. But there are times that it really feels like she is pointing away from guilt and toward stuff instead of away from guilt and toward God. A very small point that happens infrequently in the book.
This book would be extremely helpful for you if you are someone who is very type-A and who finds yourself stressed out on a consistent basis. If you have lost your joy or need a reminder of just how blessed you are, this book would be helpful for you. Let me know if this book sounds interesting to you and I will see if we can offer some copies here at the blog.