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Running Scared: Fear, Worry, and the God of Rest Paperback – October 1, 2007
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Fear can make cowards of us all. It can also cripple the mighty, stripping us of confidence and strength to ever face the challenges of ordinary life a terrible way to live. In his characteristic voice which is both authoritative and sensitive, Welch inspires us to turn to God as our champion in our battle with fear. --Dr. Tim Clinton, President, American Association of Christian Counselors
Worriers are false prophets that insight alone was worth the price of the book, but far, far more awaits the wise reader who explores this brilliant book by Ed Welch. Ed tells our story of fear and worry with compelling honesty and depth. But even more, he invites us to see how our loyal God refuses to abandon us in our fear; instead, he allows our fear to reveal our fragility and desperate need for his presence. I was not only informed and moved by this book; I was invited to worship. This is not merely a book about fear; it is an invitation to a transformed view of God. --Dan B. Allender, Ph.D., President and Professor of Counseling, Mars Hill Graduate School Author, To Be Told and Leading with a Limp
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Top Customer Reviews
Running Scared is a book for fearful people, which is to say that it is a book for everybody. It is notable not only for its subject matter, but for its author--Edward Welch who has written, among other highly regarded titles When People Are Big and God Is Small. The book is divided into thirty chapters and Welch encourages the reader to tackle one chapter per day and to not return to the next until he has taken the time to discuss each one with another person. The chapters fall into two uneven parts, one with four and the other with twenty six chapters.
Welch begins with some initial observations, perhaps the most important of which is in the third chapter. It is here that he reveals that "fear speaks." This is to say that fear tells us about...us. It tells us about how we understand ourselves, about how we understand God and how we understand the world around. Fear is "a door to spiritual reality." "There is a close connection," Welch says, "between what we fear and what we think we need. ... Whatever you need is a mere stone's throw from what you fear." That statement is profound and well worth further consideration.Read more ›
But in this life, trials are unavoidable. How to face the trials of life without letting worry overwhelm you is the subject of Running Scared: Fear, Worry, and the God of Rest by Edward T. Welch.
The few books on worry I have read have been written from a Christian perspective. But it seems even the Christian books are heavy on the pop psychology with a few Bible verses thrown in for good measure. Since modern psychology has been about as effective at curing society's ills as fat-free foods have been at curing our obesity problem, it's a shame that that's the level of drivel that most Christian authors have sunk to.
Welch, though, has a different take. He starts from - get this - the Bible, and then helps the reader to apply it to the worry and fear that can often overtake the believer. The crux of the book can be found in this paragraph:
"We are accustomed to thinking about a spiritual sector to our lives. We know we are spiritual beings, but we prefer to keep a "balance," since we are also physical, emotional, and so on. But if "spiritual" is shorthand for our relationship with God, it is not a component of life; it is the very essence of life. Everything is connected to our relationship with God. If you disagree, you have discovered why you are just a bit cantankerous as you read this book."
Welch carefully points out that we often live in fear because we have set up false idols for ourselves. For instance, if we worry about money, it is because we are relying on money, rather than God, for our security.Read more ›
Welch writes in an easy, conversational style, weaving Scripture, personal stories, and thoughtful heart-oriented application into the tapestry of his book. The thirty chapters are short enough to read several in one sitting. The last two thirds of the book helpfully divides into four sections addressing three categories of fear: (1) money and possessions; (2) people and their judgments; (3) death, pain and punishment; then finally, peace with God. This last section may be my favorite, as Welch helpfully unfolds several biblical themes (such as covenant, shalom, and peacemaking) with a view to helping us deal with our fears.
Running Scared will be helpful for several groups of people: (1) those with anxiety disorders or pathological fears; (2) people struggling with everyday, garden-variety worry; (3) psychologistis, pastors, and both professional and lay counselors who are trying to help people work through their fears. I found the book helpful in both personal and pastoral ways and highly recommend it to others.
Unlike many books on the topic of fear, this one is not a "self-help" book (although if it is read and applied, it will definitely help) - it is a " how God helps" book! The book has two sections. The first section places our fears, anxieties and worries into a proper perspective. Our fears reveal things about us, what we trust in, what we hope in, and ultimately, what we believe about God. Welch has some very helpful and challenging things to say about this:
"Worriers are visionaries minus the optimism." (pp. 50).
He also says that ultimately, worries are false prophets, because the exact details of their worries never come true! (Ouch!).
"The plan? Here it is so far. Take a hard look at yourself instead of your circumstances when worry is blaring. Ask yourself what you are trusting in. Consider your poor track record for predictions, yet recognize that all these steps, while they may give you some hope, still don't push back the boundaries of fear and worry. Reason alone can't do it.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great book. I read a chapter a day to give me time to think and process the ideas it talks about. The big idea of God's kingdom verses the world was a mind shift for me. Read morePublished 3 months ago by jim
This book is a must read for anyone fighting the battle against anxiety. Welch descends into the pit of despair alongside the reader, offering a shoulder to lean on and a helping... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Amy Warr
Read this years ago and now rereading with much relish. Forgot so much helpful information in this wonderful book. Read morePublished 4 months ago by kim
There are so many fears and anxious thoughts that we tend to forget there is a God who has given us all the reason to have peace amongst those moments.Published 4 months ago by Janaya Pereira
A biblical journey through our hearts of fear. We can face tomorrow knowing what Jesus has done in the past, AMEN!Published 5 months ago by SolidTiger