If Only You Knew by Jamie Ivey {Book Review}

“Shame over past sins that have already been forgiven is not from God. No matter how much you go to church, or read your Bible, or give away lots of money, you’re not improving Christ’s forgiveness of you.”

Jamie Ivey, If Only You Know, p212

If Only You Knew: My Unlikely, Unavoidable Story of Becoming Free by Jamie Ivey

Jamie Ivey is honest about the ups and downs of her story. She tells us exactly how bad it got and exactly how good God was to her all in the confines of her own one life. It is a book about falling down, yes, but it’s not really a book about getting up. It’s book about God meeting her exactly in the place where she was and telling her how loved, worthy, and forgiven she is even in the middle of a sinful life.

I am in absolute awe of her honesty. It’s not that she is more sinful or less sinful or more humble than any of the rest of us. It’s that she is so convinced of Jesus that she needs to tell us all exactly what she knows. It’s a also a sideways story of finding community and trusting the people around her with her mess, but it is mostly about the journey between Jamie Ivey and Jesus.

At the end of the book, I found myself wishing the whole book was like this last chapter, but, after I thought about it, I realized the whole book was about that chapter. It was just told through the lens of a life instead of the lens of sermon about shame, sin, and the grace of God.

Such a refreshingly honest, no-nonsense book.

Here are a few great quotes:

  • “You are not a bad Christian because you’re struggling with something. God is not ashamed of you, and you shouldn’t be either.” p120
  • We can’t proclaim His grace until we expose our mess.” p134
  • “What if I proposed to you, however, that we were never meant to forgive ourselves? I know it sounds a bit off, but think about it for a minute. It’s not our job to forgive ourselves. We can’t. We don’t have the power. We don’t have the ability. We don’t have the right standing with God for that. Forgive ourselves? Really? How would anybody actually go about doing that?” p206
  • “You can live your life now as a forgiven person, based on what He’s already done and said, and not on what you may feel about yourself.” p212
  • “Instead of using [your community] as a more accurate indicator of your identity than the one that Christ has already given you, become anchored in the unchanging truth of His Word.” p 217
  • “For as bad as it’s been, and as bad as it can get, Jesus is better.”

Have you read this one yet? I just looked on Amazon and it’s about $10 for the hardcover or $6 for the kindle version.

(Thanks to B&H publishing for this long held review copy. All opinions are my own. And this post has amazon affiliate links.)

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