*AKA-the book that took me FOREVER to process*
When I chose this book to review, I had no idea how difficult or rewarding it would be. It has taken me over a year to work through it (granted a lot has happened in that year). I can honestly say though, that I truly benefited from this personally by taking my time reading through it, working through the workbook questions, and actually applying the action steps to my own life. I could have easily reviewed this book simply from the perspective of a Counselor who uses or recommends the tool. However, I saw the opportunity to really embrace some personal development by
walking trudging through the process myself.
This is such an intense book to review that I’m going to break it down into sections:
Topics Covered-Stephen Arterburn breaks down the spiritual healing journey to 10 decision points. Note: this is NOT a 10-Step Process! These are ten different areas in which one makes decisions about whether or not to embrace or pursue healing. Also, you aren’t going to experience healing for the rest of your life as a result of applying the principles Arterburn breaks down in his book. However, you will be equipped to heal over and over again when you face future pain. Personal note: pain will come since we live in a broken, sinful world, so why not equip yourself to repeat the healing process next time?
Growth Process-Each chapter is laid out with some writing on the topic (background, scripture, stories, etc.) and then there are questions, a challenge to pray, sing, take action in asking forgiveness or repairing a relationship. Stephen Arterburn does not refrain from asking you to perform the steps necessary to Biblical change and spiritual development. Just awesome!
Personal Benefit-As I mentioned above, I truly did take the time to walk through the steps of “healing” Arterburn describes. It was incredibly difficult, particularly as I went through some major life change in the middle of my process. The friend I started this book with wasn’t able to walk through to the end with me because, well, life happens. Thankfully, my husband listened and talked and let me share what I needed to when I needed as the book progressed. I was challenged to embrace Scripture and truth, and would highly recommend this as a tool for personal spiritual growth to those who know they are wounded and are looking for some healing. Note: the level of benefit you receive personally is directly related to the level of energy or commitment you display to your own healing process; each reader of this book will have different results.
Areas I Disagreed With-the one main area I took issue with was when he described forgiving oneself as a common hang-up. The idea of forgiving oneself is a topic for another day; however, Scripture is very clear that God is the judge and the One from whom we are to seek forgiveness. I want to be fair here and say that Arterburn DOES clarify this point, though he doesn’t lay out clear Scriptural basis. Part of the reason this point stood out to me is that I have had this very discussion with those I have counseled in the past, as well as many other well-meaning Believers who are setting themselves up as a judge (when we are not even worthy of that role)! *soapbox away now* 🙂
All in all, I highly recommend this as a resource for individuals (though Arterburn makes an incredible case that you MUST go through this material in community, so don’t dive in alone!), for groups, or for counselors to use as a tool with those they are seeking to help heal. It is an incredible book so full of Scripture and truth, I was absolutely impressed with the quality and professional approach to Biblical change.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255