Rachel Hollis is the face behind the hollis company, author of 3 novels, 2 self-help books, (this being her first) and inspirational speaker at her self made Rise. conferences. These are my honest thoughts and opinons on ‘Girl, Wash your face’.
It was an easy read, Rachel has a tone that is light and she has a really great sense of humour, but there were things I couldn’t shake and I’m not convinced it is for everyone. But then again, what is?
The book was published in 2018 (yeah I know, I’m late to the party!) by christian publishers Thomas Nelson and yet I struggled to find the christian message behind it. Yes, you can write a self-help book but I feel if you’re going to market it at christian women, there needs to be scripture backing you up every step of the way and in my opinion this failed at that miserably.
Hollis obviously wants to be able to speak to the hearts of all women, however, I feel this book was more about her, what she was doing to advance her own bubble kingdom (not God’s) and advancing women in ways that meant they rely on themselves and not give God control in their lives. This book for me, failed to show women they can do all things through Christ and instead seeked to show women that simply their hard work would prevail. Right for the start the opening chapter talks about how we are in control of our lives. Is that Kingdom? Really?
I found it a hard pill to swallow that the man who emotionally abused, (sorry, but allowing your friends to talk to your gifrlfriend like crap and inviting her to bars then ignoring her gives me no other way to see it) her later turned out to be her husband. Yes, I believe in grace, forgiveness and that people repent and change there ways, but I cannot help feeling that discernement from God and seeking God alot in prayer (maybe she did, but didn’t write it in this book), would have aided this relationship a lot earlier and there would have been a lot less unneccesary hurt for them to reach their version of “happy ever after”.
Another thing that put me off was the blatant materialism. Now as a minimalist maybe I’m biased, but I cannot get behind flash materialism and a ‘Louis vuitton -speedy bag’ (I still have no idea what one is or what it looks like, perhaps I should have google before writing this review, but I have no interest), is fairly up there in materialism gone mad. Now, don’t get me wrong, I have my fair share of Ralph Lauren shirts and I do love Ted Baker, but the thing that irked me was Rachel goes on for two whole pages about how she coveted this bag. I’m sorry, is it just me or are her choice in words and the way she talks about this bag not the complete opposite of one of God’s commandments given to Moses?
“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.” – Exodus 20:17 NKJV
I don’t know. For me just spouting that you can have that coveted longed for handbag, jewellery etc if you work hard enough. Fine. But the bragging just had me almost putting this book down before the end. I struggled to see a humble servant of God throughout any part of this book.
Would she not have better served her readers and community by giving them a lesson in covetedness and praying to Go that whilst yes she loves the bag, and sure maybe even that is what she wnats to work towards, how she asked God to humble her in other areas too. Sure, I do think it is great that she was able to get the bag she always wanted, (I’m still holding out for a Ted Baker dress someday), but was I don’t think is fantastic is to make material items so idolised in our lives. For me that is a worldly, fleshly thing not from God. Have your nice things, but ultimately remember that when you die it’s just you before God. There is no handbag, jewellery or designer outfits that are going to make him say “What did you do to advance my Kingdom?” and you say “Well I made it as an entreprenuer and was able to get myself X,Y,Z and I taught others how to do it to”.
We should be teaching each other how to advance the Kingdom, how to put on God’s armour and fight the battles against the enemy, how to raise our children as lightbearers in others lives, more than how to earn enough to always have the nice things. Like I said, I’m not adverse to nice things. But seriously, if that is more important than fulfilling your God given purpose, you really need to ask God to search your heart. What do you really want? An LV handbag or your family to be saved in Christ? What’s going to be more important when you see your father in heaven? Just…meditate on it.
In another instance she talks about achieving your goals and not putting a limit on when you reach them and then in the very next chapter she discusses how she has a dream to own a holiday home in Hawaii by the time she is 40. If that’s not setting a time limit on a goal then I don’t know what is?
God, whom I might add and scripture are only mentioned 3 times within the whole book and she doesn’t thank him or praise him for the great successes (or hardships for that matter), she has had over the years or mention that it is all still for HIS glory. Did I miss something? Are we not meant to be living out our purpose in life and doing all things for HIS GLORY? Someone correct me if I missed a new memo somewhere in my bible.
“…in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:18 NKJV
Hats of to Rachel though. She has built here brand up from nothing (whilst raising 4 children), become very successful at what she does and inspired millions of women. I’m sorry, but I’m just not one of them. That’s okay, there will be women out there whom I do not inspire either. We will never be everyone’s cup of tea. Just focus on your own lane and walk with God. I know for me, I cannot do all things alone, I need God and as a fellow christian I did not feel like she felt God was the reason for any of her life’s sucessess, that she did it all alone and that she would achieve great success without leaning on her creator. Just my vibes!
If you want to read Rachel’s book you can find it at online book stores (or most book stores), or you can always ask me, I’ll be happy to send mine on to you.