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Tired of Trying to Measure Up: Getting Free from the Demands, Expectations, and Intimidation of Well-Meaning People Paperback – July 1, 2008


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Bethany House Publishers; Reprint edition (July 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764205374
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764205378
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #58,074 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Are you always trying hard, but feel like it's never good enough?

Tired of Trying to Measure Up is written for Christians who live under a deeply ingrained code of expectations and rules that shame them and drain them of spiritual strength.
Do you wonder:

* Why do I feel so guilty?
* Why is it so hard to rest, even when I know I need to?
* Why does my religious activity leave me unfulfilled?
* Where's the "abundant life" God promised?

If these questions sound familiar, this book is for you. It won't teach you how to change your behavior or try harder. If trying hard was the key to the victorious Christian life, you'd probably be in the hall of fame by now, don't you think? This is a message to help you unmask the lies that keep you on the works treadmill and to help you discover the liberation of the gospel of grace in Jesus Christ and the rest that comes through the cross.

When there's more emphasis on doing right than knowing God and His grace, this book points the way to freedom.

About the Author

Jeff VanVonderen is an internationally known speaker on addictions and church and family wellness He has worked as a counselor in both residential and outpatient treatment settings, as well as in the religious community, taught at the college level, and is the author of several books, including Good News for the Chemically Dependent and Those Who Love Them. He is one of the featured interventionists on the A&E documentary series Intervention, which has won its second Prism Award. He has also appeared on Oprah, the Today Show, and Larry King Live. He has eight grandchildren and makes his home in Wisconsin. For more information, visit www.jeffvanvonderen.com.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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It is well written and well worth reading.
Computer Tech
We can rest in Him, be filled with His peace, and trust that the Holy Spirit will guide our hearts.
Kelly Brown
In this book he helps people to identify their feelings of shame.
D.Farrar

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

39 of 40 people found the following review helpful By M. White on December 17, 1999
Format: Paperback
This book will help to set you free from legalism and the shame of rejection by other people. Jeff Vanvondren clearly explains the reason for shame, using examples from his own life experience. I highly recommend this book. It should be read by anyone struggling with religion, God, rejection, shame, or any kind of dysfunctional background. It is especially helpful to those who have been mistreated in a church or religous setting. This book is timely, relevent, and offers practical solutions. Due to the nature of the subject matter, this book is not light reading. Instead, it is worthwhile, thought provoking, and will prove to offer lasting help to those who read it. More than mere inspiration, and even more than compassionate encouragement, this book is truly life-changing.
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30 of 30 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 21, 1998
Format: Paperback
Jeff explains his concept of "a shame based society" as one in which "performance" is the key to acceptance. The problem with shame based societies (whether they be at home, work or church) is that they lead to legalism. Jesus came to do away with legalism....the free gift of grace. Jeff then explains three cycles we all need to understand: 1. The TRY HARD cycle where by shear will we try to measure up. 2. The GIVE UP cycle where (after trying hard) we give up due to absolute failure 3. The RELAX cycle....let Jesus do the work in you.
This is an excellent book!
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By D.Farrar on July 7, 2010
Format: Paperback
Do you know Gods will for your life? Do you beleive that you are performing in a way that is pleasing to God? Do you read your bible enough? Are you attending a healthy church? Do you feel like you've tried everything to get closer to God but something is still missing? Do you feel guilty alot?
Jeff VanVonderen adresses all these questions in this book and more. In this book he helps people to identify their feelings of shame. In the second chapter he gives a list of traits about how you relate to yourself.
1. You have a "Shame-Based" identity. You suffer from low self esteem, or a negative self-concept.
2. You are highly performance-conscious. You can't work for God's acceptance.
3. You don't know yourself very well. You've been made to feel ashamed for having needs, feelings, opinions, or struggles.
4. You are frequently unaware of your own feelings. You do everything you can to avoid stressfull situations.
5. You have a tendency to be idolatrous. This means basing your sense of life, value and acceptance on something other than God.
6. You have a high level of anxiety.
7. You are wounded. You've been shamed out of talking about your problems.
8. You are tired. The survival techniques that you have implemented to show others how good you are doing are tiring you out.
I think most people like myself just continue to plod along in a rut. We don't know that there is something better out there. Eventually we burn out playing the church game. The burn out is caused by one of the above categories. In the book he helps you to identify the causes of these shame based mind sets and how you can change to finding the abundance that God intended for you. God's Grace is sufficient and there is nothing we can do to earn it. My life has been enriched by the insights revealed in this book.
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 26, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Reading this book has been both painful and lifechanging for me. I have struggled for almost all my Christian life with shame and feeling like I'm never good enough. I could identify so much with the section on shame based relating. This book not only helps you pinpoint the problem, but also offers sensible, down to earth solutions. For the first time, I have come to believe, deep down in my heart, that God's love and acceptance of me is not based on my performance. I can't even begin to describe all the ways that God has used this book in my life. If you struggle with feelings of never measuring up, shame and feeling like you have to earn God's approval, do yourself a favor. Order this book.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 6, 1998
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book deals powerfully with the shame and pain that can be experienced in, and caused by, relationships. It helps the reader to see when s/he is not the source or cause of shame (feeling inadequate and defective), and provides insight as to why many shaming messages are unfounded. This, therefore, eliminated the pain caused by shame. I had to read this book cover to cover twice over to get as much as I did out of it, and originally thought it a five star book. Not, I would honestly give it 20 stars out of 5. VERY helpful.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth A. Davis on April 23, 2005
Format: Paperback
I heard about this book at a time when I was being overwhelmed by the pain of my past. At first, I didn't think I had shame. But as I read this book for the second time, it changed my life.Through Jeff's honesty and compassion (having walked this road himself) I was finally able to feel that someone understood what was raging inside of me and he gave me permission to rest.......what I needed most He told me it was OK to feel what I was feeling...at last someone could identify what I couldn't seem to verbalize.

I have been and still am in therapy, but this book was a catalyst in my understanding of who I am, how I got this way, and how to get better. If you are struggling emotionally, even if you think that this book won't help you, take the chance. Don't deprive yourself of something that could be the best $10 you ever spent.......your emotional well being is priceless.
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