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When People Are Big and God is Small: Overcoming Peer Pressure, Codependency, and the Fear of Man (Resources for Changing Lives) Paperback – June 1, 1997


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When People Are Big and God is Small: Overcoming Peer Pressure, Codependency, and the Fear of Man (Resources for Changing Lives) + Instruments in the Redeemer's Hands: People in Need of Change Helping People in Need of Change (Resources for Changing Lives)
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Product Details

  • Series: Resources for Changing Lives
  • Paperback: 239 pages
  • Publisher: P & R Publishing (June 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0875526004
  • ISBN-13: 978-0875526003
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.5 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (111 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,572 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Very insightful, and biblically sound.
Jason A. Zimmer
Welch has written a gem on the need for us to realize how great God really is and how we need to stop fearing other people so much!
Michael Taylor
I read this book over the course of a year with two friends.
Lisa C. Wong

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

186 of 189 people found the following review helpful By Michael Taylor TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 10, 2003
Format: Paperback
Welch has written a gem on the need for us to realize how great God really is and how we need to stop fearing other people so much!
The focus of Welch's book is to have a greater healthy fear of God to the point that other people have less power and control over our lives.
The points Welch describes in his book include:
1. The fear of God is the best treatment for the fear of man.
2. Jesus was not a people-pleaser.
3. Having more fear of man than God is idolatry.
4. When we fear God we think of ourselves less.
5. When we spend more time with God, opinions of ourselves and what others think of us matter less.
6. We should love people more and need them less (only God can truly provide for our needs).
7. We love others because God first loved us.
8. When God is reduced to our feelings, He becomes less awesome to us while people become larger.
The "fear of God" may be defined as having a healthy reverence for God - He loves us and does not want us to be so afraid of Him that we are scared of having a personal relationship with Him.
Read the book and be encouraged to be more concerned about what God thinks and less concerned about what other people think!
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72 of 74 people found the following review helpful By Dan Panetti VINE VOICE on June 1, 2007
Format: Paperback
I'll have to admit, I was a little leery of this book from the title - peer pressure, codependency - come on, another Christian psycho-babble book? But I read it since a friend was reading it and I'll admit - I was wrong. When People Are Big is an outstanding book that has something to say about the self-centered psychology of Freud and Maslow - it's all focused on the wrong thing: man. Welch, himself a Ph.D. recipient in counseling psychology chooses to focus on God's Word as the source of truth and understanding regarding the nature of man. His basic concept is that man is created to bring glory to God and in saying this notes that God has designed us with certain "needs" or "desires" that are to be fulfilled by God Himself. The problem arises, according to Welch, when we replace the proverbial God-shaped vacuum in our lives with temporal things of this world that are not only unable to satisfy our longings, but in fact prohibit God from being able to! As man turns to self for "actualitization," he finds that his highest purpose doesn't really supply meaning or significance. Only in a proper relationship with God through the sanctifying work of Christ on the cross can man truly understand his true nature and true self.

Ultimately, Welch argues, the problem with man is low esteem for his Creator. If we truly lived before an Audience of One, Welch believes that many of our daily "problems" would be solved with a proper perspective - we would see ourselves in a proper light and we would see that we are not the source of that light, but created to be the reflectors of it to others.
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53 of 58 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan Koh on November 13, 2000
Format: Paperback
I read a lot of books but this book is one of the few that i would re-read again and make notes so that i can really get a good grasp of its wonderful and convicting teaching. It is also one of the few books that i can say really challenges my thinking and living.
This book also got me more interested in counselling and "Christian" psychology. Some of the views written challenges many common Christian Psychology/counselling teachings - he challenges some of Larry Crabb's views.
But besides these "differences" (which i need to look more into), i think this book is an excellent read - especially for Christians who are in leadership positions. There is always a tendency to be controlled by the opinions of man, and thus in Welch's terms, succumb to a fear of man, rather than to be controlled by what God teaches, therefore be a God fearing Christian.
This book calls us to deny ourselves, to crucify our ungodly desires for popularity, fame and good opinions of man. It calls us to see God as bigger than man and once we do that, we will start to fear God and not man. Wonderful thought-provoking, life- and attitude-challenging stuff.
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33 of 35 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 29, 2002
Format: Paperback
This book was recommended to my husband and I during marriage counseling with a very prestigious, well known doctor.
I wish we had read it a long time ago. I have never had the biblical concept of *love* in its truest sense explained so clearly.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone that has struggled with dysfunctional family relationships, codependency issues, or even just loving your enemies.
I want to buy a case of these and pass them out to everyone we know!! That's how great this book is.
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31 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Jake Hunt on September 17, 2007
Format: Paperback
This book has a solid thesis: many of the problems we have with peer pressure, the fear of man, controlling or being controlled by others, and the like all have to do with fearing man rather than fearing God. I found the way Welch unpacks this idea a little tedious; each chapter seemed to restate the main idea and apply it with little difference.

The second half of the book is more helpful. Welch gives several positive biblical examples of what the fear of the Lord looks like, and why we should strive to have it replace the fear of man in our hearts. His continuum of terror to worship shows the different forms our fear of God should take as we grow in our knowledge of him--the fear is never removed, but it matures into a healthy, reverential fear of the holy God who has befriended us in Christ. His paradigm of loving people rather than needing them, of seeking to serve others rather than having them serve our own purposes, is a good corrective to the self-centered pop psychology we are inundated with in the West.

Welch's book is a good biblical antidote to peer pressure, codependency and the fear of man. With a proper understanding of who God is and the resulting fear of him, we have no need to fear men. Instead we can love and serve them the way God intends. This book is a great resource both for personal growth and as a reference for counseling.
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