Allie Beth Stuckey is a writer, speaker and host of the podcast Relatable sponsored by Blaze Media. In You’re Not Enough, Stuckey takes on the self-love culture which insists that people are perfect the way they are, that love of self is their primary obligation, and that lives should be centered around worship of self (“meology,” pp. 64-72), rather than God. Self cannot be both our problem and our solution, the author insists (p. 9). Stuckey’s thesis is that “the world’s answers to our very real feelings of self-doubt, self-loathing, incompetence, and insecurity aren’t sufficient…. This book is about dismantling the lies fed to us and replacing them with God’s truth” (p. 13). In order to accomplish her goal, Stuckey dismantles five myths that the self-love culture teaches.
1. You are enough (pp. 15-48).
This worldview tells us that we can’t do anything until we love ourselves first (p. 5), that you should just follow your heart (p. 36) and basically worship self (p. 37). The author claims all this is toxic and exhausting (p. 12), and is not the answer, which is found not in us but outside us—in God’s love (p. 34).
2. You determine your truth (pp. 49-94).
The self-love culture proclaims that feelings are the standard for truth and therefore everyone can determine their own truth (cf. p. 41). This theology centered on “me,” is expressed in Christian circles most prominently within the prosperity gospel and hipster Jesus movements (pp. 64-68). It promotes social justice which is concerned about equality of outcome rather than biblical justice which concerns itself with righteousness and love (pp. 83-93).
3. You’re perfect the way you are (pp. 95-126)
Stuckey has already tackled this myth but at this point debunks such nonsense as the Enneagram fad, which turns us toward introspection to find both God and self, instead of Scripture (pp. 105-111).
4. You’re entitled to your dreams (pp. 127-144)
Banking largely on her own experience, the author shows the folly of believing we can “have it all,” and that accomplishing our dreams brings satisfaction. Stuckey also demonstrated the value of work (pp. 135-138). We are created by God to contribute, and work is not a plague.
5. You can’t love others until you love yourself (pp. 145-188).
While this philosophy is espoused by everyone from Julianne Hough to Victoria Osteen to Jan Hatmaker, it simply is untrue and unbiblical.
You’re Not Enough is an excellent challenge to the self-love culture. It is primarily directed at young women (the author herself appears to still be in her 20s) as they seem to be the most susceptible to this form of deception. The only concern I found was a short drift into a Christocentric interpretation of David and Goliath (p. 73) but, as this is not central to the book, little harm is done.
You’re Not Enough would be a good antidote for those caught up in “meology” such as that taught by Rachel Hollis.
You’re Not Enough (and That’s Okay), Escaping the Toxic Culture of Self-Love, by Allie Beth Stuckey (Sentinel: 2020) 194 pp., Hard $17.99
Reviewed by Gary E. Gilley, Pastor/teacher at Southern View Chapel.