From looking outwardly to please others to looking inwardly to define ourselves, we constantly try to cultivate or construct our identities. But guided by the whims of culture or the faulty advice of tradition, we often find identity collapses when life falls apart or change threatens that fragile structure. Is it possible to discover an identity bolstered with unassailable confidence, strengthened for the challenges of life rather than destroyed by them, and free from the whims of cultural pressure? Yes! It is an identity received, not achieved—an identity established in the gospel.
In Stop Trying, Cary Schmidt's storytelling creates compelling scenes in which you'll see yourself and your self. You'll understand why defining your identity outside of Jesus Christ is ultimately fragile, hollow, and unsatisfying. And you'll discover that your truest and most fulfilling identity is a byproduct of a relationship that changes everything.
Praise for Stop Trying
"It's hard to imagine a book more needed right now than this one. In a world where people trade away nearly everything valuable to achieve what only turns out to be artificial identity, Cary Schmidt stands at the crossroads to offer the reader something infinitely better—real identity and purpose from our Creator. I couldn't put this book down!"
Lead Pastor, NewSpring Church, Wichita, KS
"Understanding who we are and whose we are is fundamental to following Jesus on mission in this world. Too many of us walk around trying to be someone we are not, to prove our worth to people whose admiration can't fill our hearts in ways only Jesus can. And there are too many cheap substitutes for affirmation and identity that only disappoint. This is why Cary Schmidt's work is a welcome, refreshing respite for weary Christians tired of proving themselves, striving for illusory approval. Schmidt points us to the warm embrace of our heavenly Father and the empowering and liberating vision of what it means to find our identity in the One who made us."
Senior VP of NRB; pastor and author of several books, including The Dignity Revolution, The Characters of Christmas, and A Way With Words
"This is a compelling and deeply transformational book! Imagine having an identity that is durable no matter what life throws at you. In Stop Trying, Cary Schmidt unmasks the weak identity structures of our culture, and replaces them with the only strong identity option. This book will set you free to grow into and live out of who you really are."
Sr. Vice President of Evangelism and Leadership, North American Mission Board
Former Sr. Pastor, First Baptist Church of Woodstock, GA
Former president of the Southern Baptist Convention
"Raw, honest and extremely helpful. Every Christian needs to come to terms with what Cary came to terms with; he has the scars and testimony and shares with us here. This is life-altering stuff in the most positive way."
Pastor, author, consultant at RonEdmondson.com¿
"What if we stopped trying so hard to please others? What if we discovered the way to find the joy and peace that comes from discovering our identity in Christ? In Stop Trying, Cary Schmidt does a masterful job of showing the transformation of the followers of Jesus so we might understand the path for our transformation as well."
Thom S. Rainer
Founder and CEO, Church Answers; author of¿Where Have All the Church Members Gone?
"Wow! Please walk this journey! Words fly off the page and into your mind as if your own heart wrote them. We all hurt the same . . . and need the same remedy: God's presence."
Pastor's wife, mom, college professor, Christian in NYC
"In Stop Trying, Cary Schmidt has uncovered the real issue of identity crisis, which includes a cultural form of identity theft that we inflict upon ourselves. Our true identity in Christ prunes away the high maintenance identities that we've crafted, allowing for growth and genuine satisfaction. This book leads to something better than the best life—it helps the readers to have abundant lives in Christ."
Keep the Heart LLC
"On the path to seeing ourselves as God sees us, Cary Schmidt is a trustworthy guide. With clear language, engaging stories, and rich biblical insights, Stop Trying will lead you into a fresh encounter with the gospel. By focusing on Christ, Cary shows us, our true selves come into focus. This is a message of hope for all of us."
Pastor and author of Paul and His Team: What the Early Church Can Teach Us about Leadership and Influence
"With refreshing transparency and biblical clarity, Cary explains the wonderful liberty of simply resting in Jesus. How I wish that my younger "performance driven" self could have read Stop Trying thirty years ago! You will come away from this book freshly astounded by the grace of God and refreshingly energized by what Jesus is doing in your life."
Pastor of Faith Baptist Church, Fredericksburg, VA
"Discover the real struggle in life, why it matters, and what to do about it! This book unmasks the empty life, stands you in front of a mirror, and helps you see the beautiful "you" that God has created in Christ. This book takes you on a radical journey that will transform and ground you."
Pastor of International Baptist Church, Brooklyn, NY
"Stop Trying answers some of the most pressing identity questions of our time with the clarity of the gospel. It will invite you to embrace your gospel identity and experience the peace that comes from living out who you were created to be in everyday, practical ways. I absolutely agree with this book!"
Pastor of Rosedale Baptist Church, Rosedale, MD