Girl, Stop Criticizing.

There’s a bit of a dustup over a new book that is in stores.

“Girl, Stop Apologizing” by Rachel Hollis is creating quite a bit of buzz in Christian circles.

Katelyn Beaty has written a very critical review of the book for Christianity Today.

My goal is NOT to defend the book.

But I am coming out strong against something that is pervasive in the thinking of many.

Let’s start with a couple of quotes from Beaty’s critique:

“ I was a momentary convert to the religion of self-help—that durable American belief that with enough hard work and positive thinking, anyone can be the captain of her own destiny.”

“ It is Hollis’s ode to hustle—to “the desire to work as hard as you can to chase down a goal.”

There it is. And it absolutely grates my last nerve.

It’s a critique that working hard is ungodly.

Before you pounce and send me an email, allow me to flesh this out.

I don’t work a job.

I am fulfilling a calling.

Because I’ve been called to what I do, I have a deep love for what I do and the people that I serve.

I’ll take it another step, it is my conviction that I worship God through my work.

In the movie “Chariots of Fire”, Eric Liddell is an Olympic gold medalist runner. He’s also a Christian.  He famously says, “God made me fast. And when I run, I feel His pleasure.”

God made me to be a leader.

I lead a Christian media ministry.

When I lead…when I’m mentoring others…when I’m coaching…I feel His pleasure.

Why do I work hard?

Because I’m fulfilling my calling.

Because I’m doing what I was built to do.

Let’s pause the tape.

Don’t generalize her comments or mine.

There is nothing within me that believes Hollis is saying “Sacrifice your family for your career.”  Nope. Not at all.

As a matter of fact, I go to great lengths to try and protect time with my wife and have discussions with her each and every day.

Also, there’s a grand possibility that people who criticize this book may be laboring in a job and not fulfilling a passion by pursuing a calling.  There is a difference.

Some people don’t want a calling.

They don’t want the passion.

They want to work their 8 hours and go home.

Good on ya, mate.

But that doesn’t give you permission to criticize those of us who are deeply passionate about what we do and why we feel called to do it.   

Beaty’s criticism continues with, “As such, the book offers a breezy relativism in which no one can tell someone else what is right or best. “When other people’s expectations start to dictate your actions, you’re lost,” says Hollis.”


Killin me smalls.

I’m a large guy.

A very large guy.

When Hollis writes, “When other people’s expectations start to dictate your actions, you’re lost” – I connect with that.   


Because I’ve been told on multiple occasions that I’d never be a success due to my weight. That if I wanted to be accepted I’d have to “fit into society.”

Want some transparency? I recently completed my first book.

The marketing agency we work with is lining up mini-speaking tour for me.

You don’t think that scares the crap out of me?

You don’t think that exposes every insecurity I have?

And those insecurities often arise from the many voices who have told me that I’d never be anything due to my waist size.

I’ve made a decision not to allow other people’s expectations of me to dictate my actions.

Criticize her for lite-theology.

Criticize her for some Instagram crap regarding plagiarism.

But don’t criticize her for working hard.

Don’t throw a wet blanket on those of us who are passionately fulfilling our calling.

Finally, let’s not be accused of saying women can’t be successful.

That they can’t start a business or pursue a dream.

Let’s not say that God can’t give women gifts and talents.

From where I sit, we need a few more dream chasers.

People willing to pursue a calling and feel His pleasure as they do.

I’m crawling down from my soapbox.

I have a dream to pursue and work to be done.


– Brian Sanders