Top critical review
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Not what I expected
on March 21, 2015
I got this book because I am the caregiver of a very difficult family member who's disposition can bring even the most joy filled person down. I've lost my patience and raised my voice (or, become "unglued") with her too many times to count. I know it's not the response the Lord would want from me and I was hoping that the equipping this book claims to provide on handling this kind of situation would be based on Biblical principles. I was wrong.
The book is filled with the author's life stories and situations of coming unglued, and her own strategies on how to deal with it. I understand the use of some personal examples, but her stories are the majority of the book and not really any I could relate to. There are some scriptures thrown in here and there. Even so, the scriptures are not what this book as a whole was built on or around and that was disappointing. I will give credit though to Chapter 7 that finally uses scripture from 2 Chronicles 20 as the basis of a 5 step "procedure manual" in dealing with unnerving situations. This was the one and only place I could take to heart what I was reading and feel comfortable applying it to my life. However, even when scripture was used, I still got a "works based" tone from her elaboration rather than walking by the Spirit. As a matter of fact, please correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't once remember reading the scripture about the fruits of the spirit being love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control (Galatians 5:22-23). Sure I can "purpose in my heart" to be these things, but how? Not by my own purposing or planning, that's for sure. I cannot count on my flesh. In addition, some of her advice was based on Biblical views, but no scripture was given to give credit where credit is due. For example, in the last chapter, she talks about how outward unglued expressions reveal brokenness internally. This is true, for the Lord said: "...for the mouth speaks what the heart is full of" (Luke 6:45) in reference to bringing forth what is good and evil. I bring this up because I want to be pointed to the Lord, not just a rewording of what He teaches leaving Him completely out of the equation. Someone who does not already know this truth for themselves would never know where that truth came from! As for my own specific situation, the two pages actually devoted to dealing with difficult people just advises you to cut off those toxic relationships. Well, I can't very well do that when I am this person's caregiver.
One other thing that bothered me enough to mention is the story of Peter in Chapter 3. She talks about Peter who went from denying the Lord to boldly proclaiming His name. The reason she gives for Peter's dramatic change is the Lord's "chiseling" of Peter before His death and after His resurrection. The real reason for Peters boldness in the book of Acts though, is because the Holy Spirit had come upon him and that was never mentioned or given credit. I just felt the Holy Spirit's mention was completely lost in this book in general. We can't do anything on our own, it is only in walking by the Spirit. "So I say, walk by the Spirit and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh" (Galatians 5:16)
So, in conclusion, if you don't mind the lack of biblical guidance or application and are okay with a self-help type book with some scriptures throughout, you may like this. If you're looking for truly sound, biblical guidance, then I would pass on this one. (As a side note, the reason I expected more of a biblically based book is because I'm very familiar with P31 (Bible based) Ministries and this isn't just some random author's book on emotions. It is a Christian authors book).