It is a real privilege to able to post a review for this incredible book as part of the blog tour celebrating its publication.
Valuable is a book that comes straight from the author’s heart. Liz has lived all her life with a debilitating chronic illness, and yet she loves God and His Word passionately. She is married to a full time church minister, and is the daughter of pioneering church ministers. The wealth of her experiences and the real life battles she has faced add a depth of sincerity to every word written.
WHAT DO YOU DO?
The message of Valuable challenges a language that has seeped into the church from society in general. That our value is measured by what we can do and achieve. Or in Christian speak – how useful we are to God.
Have you ever been asked, ‘So what do you do?’ We use the question too easily as a way of trying to get to know people. But what if we can’t answer that question? What if we are weak, debilitated, sick, emotionally fragile, or just feel underqualified or past our best? What if we can’t actually ‘do’ very much at all. Does that make us less important? Less of a human being? Less valuable? For some people, myself included, ‘what do you do?’ is an uncomfortable question to answer.
USEFUL TO GOD
But what about in church? Have we ever felt judged because we aren’t being useful to God? Have we ever been assaulted by the language of usefulness? In Valuable Liz Carter uses both scripture based spiritual insight and real-life stories to prove that our worth is not defined by how useful we are or feel. In one heart-breaking story, Tracy Williamson, a wonderful Christian author who is deaf, tells how words spoken over her as a new Christian nearly broke her. During a prayer session for her healing, an elder said to her, ‘Tracy, you must have more faith, because God won’t be able to use you as a deaf person.’
It was lies. And Tracy’s ongoing life of faith has proved it. But how often do we fall into using similar language, tied into long held beliefs? That unless we are useful to God we don’t have value. A quick study of scripture shows us time and time again that it was the weak and seemingly useless people that God called to do extraordinary things with Him. And this is Liz’s message in Valuable. That our value to God is not tied to what we can do for Him. We are valuable to Him because we are His beloved children. And He is not a God who ‘uses’, rather a God who seeks partners and co-labourers. Those whose weaknesses He can turn into strength.
HE VALUES US
This book spoke deeply to me. I have gone through the whole battle of why my illness came at a time in my life when I felt I was being most useful to God. How did my life have value anymore if I could not do what I used to be able to do? I have discovered the truth of Liz’s book worked out in my life. God took the weakness of my incapacity and has turned it into something of lasting value to Him.
I believe this is a book for any Christian who feels trapped in their uselessness, those who feel incapacitated in any way. But I would suggest that it is also a book for those who are actually thriving in their sense of usefulness. Liz shows us very clearly through careful biblical investigation that God never talks about us in terms of our usefulness to Him. If He doesn’t use that language than neither should we. God is much more interested in us bearing fruit out of a close relationship with Him, than He is in any work or effort we put in. Liz calls this embracing the ‘upside down’ way of God’s kingdom. Where we don’t boast in our strength, but take our worth from His unlimited love is for us.
POWERFUL AND BEAUTIFUL
Valuable is a powerful book. It is thought provoking, insightful and moving. It is not a book that can be read quickly. In fact I think it is a ‘dip in and out’ book, containing a wealth of treasures. It is definitely a ‘mark the page’ book, and full of ‘O yes, of course!’ moments.
Liz Carter is a gifted poet and each chapter is ended with a lovely poetic reflection and a prayer. The end of the book also has a seven day reflection/devotional guide.
This is a book I can see myself going back to again and again. It is just beautiful. And it is liberating. Thank you Liz.
Valuable by Liz Carter was published on 1st June 2023 by The Good Book Company, and is available to purchase through the publisher https://www.thegoodbook.co.uk/outreach/valuable where you can also find out more information about the book and access some free downloads.
Also available via Amazon and anywhere good books are sold.
Joy Margetts is a published author and blogger. Her books are works of Christian Historical fiction. Set in medieval Wales against the backdrop of Cistercian abbey life, they tell stories of faith, hope and God’s redemptive power. Her debut novel ‘The Healing‘ was published by Instant Apostle on 19 March 2021. Joy has also self- published a short novella, ‘The Beloved‘ as both a companion to ‘The Healing‘, and as an easy to read standalone story, which is available to buy on Amazon Kindle. ‘The Pilgrim‘, her second full length novel, was published by Instant Apostle on 22 July 2022. More information on Joy, and her books can be found here www.joymargetts.com