Each month, you’ll hear from one of us on what we’re reading and a little bit about the book. This month we’re sharing book notes on Scarlet Hiltibidal’s, You’re the Worst Person in the World. Enjoy!
“Are you tired of the unrelenting pressure to be the best at everything?” The question on the back of Scarlet Hiltibidal’s new book, You’re the Worst Person in the World, immediately caught my attention. Because yes! My overachieving, perfectionist, type-A self is tired of always trying to be perfect. Growing up as a preacher’s kid in a small town, I was always reminded of how even the tiniest mistake could be used against me. I lived in fear of messing up. While I’ve moved away and gained a more mature perspective on sin and failure, I cannot say that I am free of the self-inflicted pressure for perfection.
This is probably why Scarlet had me pulled in and nodding my head in agreement as I read the first few chapters of her book aboard a flight to Orlando. (I’m sure the person sitting next to me was probably intrigued by my occasional murmurings of “goodness, yes” as I quickly consumed the pages of a book titled “You’re the Worst Person in the World.”)
Scarlet’s wit and humor will keep you engaged as she shares full transparency about her struggles with perfection and trusting God. She shares so many stories of her own “worstness” and how God’s goodness shined through amidst her own failures.
These stories were encouraging to me as I realized that I was not alone in my failures and unspoken anxieties. This book helped me recognize my own weakness and “worstness” and, instead of offering “self-help” approaches to fixing it, Scarlet points us back to Scripture and the Father who gives the best gifts. This is not a “fix yourself” book but rather a “God’s got all you need” book!
For example: have you ever faced the fear and pressure of trying to share the gospel? I know I have, worried I’ll say the wrong thing or somehow mess it all up. Scarlet’s stories reminded me that knowing God’s Word and walking with Him is far more important than knowing the perfect script for sharing the good news of Christ and salvation. “When your life is about worshiping and enjoying God, you don’t have to be worried about how you’ll talk about Him. You’ll just talk about Him, because He’s your friend and He’s alive and active in your life” (page 194). Whew—weight lifted!
As I read the pages of You’re the Worst Person in the World, I often felt the self-inflicted pressure begin to lift as I was reminded that I am called to be a sheep. What a blessing it is to be a sheep, knowing that we are loved, cared for, and we don’t have to carry the weight of the world on our shoulders (John 14:1).
Scarlet offers so many practical reminders that we can take a load off and trust the God who loves us.
Scarlet says, “We who are children of God have access to supernatural love, because we’ve all been that loved. We’ve been to-the-cross-and-back loved. We’ve been punish-me-instead-of-them loved by the Son of God who made us. We are the worst. And we are loved by the perfect, one true God. We are the chosen chiefs of sinners and that is the best news in the world” (page 101).
Read it, and be reminded that your own “worstness” is an opportunity for Christ’s love to be made perfect in you. You’ll be glad you did.
Juliana Wilson is the social media and influencer marketing specialist for Lifeway Women. She is passionate about encouraging women and girls to dig into God’s Word and pursue an active relationship with Christ every day. Juliana loves Instagram-worthy ice cream, coffee dates, and traveling with her husband, Ben. Look for them on NBC’s hit obstacle course show, American Ninja Warrior!
https://www.lifeway.com/en/product/you-re-the-worst-person-in-the-world-P005825350. Scarlet Hiltibidal, You’re the Worst Person in the World (Nashville, TN: B&H Publishing Group, 2022)