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About Edward T. Welch
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Of course, the “fear of man” goes by other names. When we are in our teens, it is called “peer pressure.” When we are older, it is called “people-pleasing.” Recently, it has been called “codependency.” With these labels in mind, we can spot the fear of man everywhere. Diagnosis is fairly straightforward.
- Have you ever struggled with peer pressure? “Peer pressure” is simply a euphemism for the fear of man.
- Are you over-committed? Do you find that it is hard to say no even when wisdom indicates that you should? Are you are a “people-pleaser,” another euphemism for the fear of man ?
- Do you “need” something from your spouse? Do you “need” your spouse to listen to you? Respect you? Think carefully here. Certainly God is pleased when there is good communication and a mutual honor between spouses. But for many people, the desire for these things has roots in something that is far from God’s design for his image-bearers. Unless you understand the biblical parameters of marital commitment, your spouse will become the one you fear. Your spouse will control you. Your spouse will quietly take the place of God in your life.
- Is self-esteem a critical concern for you? This, at least in the United States, is the most popular way that the fear of other people is expressed. If self-esteem is a recurring theme for you, chances are that your life revolves around what others think. You reverence or fear their opinions. You need them to buttress your sense of well-being and identity. You need them to fill you up.
- Do you ever feel as if you might be exposed as an impostor? Many business executives and apparently successful people do. The sense of being exposed is an expression of the fear of man. It means that the opinions of other people — especially their possible opinion that you are a failure — are able to control you.
- Are you always second-guessing decisions because of what other people might think? Are you afraid of making mistakes that will make you look bad in other people’s eyes?
- Do you feel empty or meaningless? Do you experience “love hunger”? Here again, if you need others to fill you, you are controlled by them.
- Do you get easily embarrassed? If so, people and their perceived opinions probably define you. Or, to use biblical language, you exalt the opinions of others to the point where you are ruled by them.
THE problem is clear: People are too big in our lives and God is too small. The answer is straightforward: We must learn to know that our God is more loving and more powerful than we ever imagined. Yet this task is not easy. Even if we worked at the most spectacular of national parks, or the bush in our backyard started burning without being consumed, or Jesus appeared and wrestled a few rounds with us, we would not be guaranteed a persistent reverence of God. Too often our mountain-top experiences are quickly overtaken by the clamor of the world, and God once again is diminished in our minds. The goal is to establish a daily tradition of growing in the knowledge of God.
The reader will probably come to this book with a particular role in mind. For example, many might read with the idea of helping others. But as they dig into Scripture’s teaching on the reckless nature of the human heart and its rich teaching on self-control, it prompts one to acknowledge their own need for help as well. So thinking about your own struggles is the best way to start. Welch's book admonishes the reader to be sure to look for addictions in their own hearts and lives. Even though the focus of this book will be primarily on drugs and alcohol—prototypic addictions—the basic ideas are relevant to all kinds of sins that are not easily cast off.
What is the basic point of this book? Theology makes a difference. It is the infrastructure of our lives. Build it poorly and the building will eventually collapse in ruins. Build it well and you will be prepared for anything. The basic theology for addictions is that the root problem goes deeper than our genetic makeup. Addictions are ultimately a disorder of worship. Will we worship ourselves and our own desires or will we worship the true God?
You are a royal priest.
That Reality Will Change Your Life
Human beings are wired for connection. We long for deep relationships and real intimacy—both of which reflect our fundamental desire to be close to God. But all too often, whether because of our sin or our failures, we imagine that God prefers to keep his distance.
In this book, Edward T. Welch shows us the purpose for which we were created: to be brought near to God as a kingdom of priests. He traces the priestly identity throughout the entire Bible, showing us how holiness leads to closeness to God. Through the blood of Jesus, God extends his invitation for all to draw near with open arms. And in his presence, we discover what it means to be truly human: known, unashamed, and wise, full of meaning, purpose, and abundant life.
Practical Guidance for Loving Others Well
Everyone needs help from time to time, especially in the midst of painful circumstances and difficult trials. In this short book, a highly respected biblical counselor and successful author offers practical guidance for all Christians—pastors and laypeople alike—who want to develop their “helping skills” when it comes to walking alongside hurting people.
Written out of the conviction that friends are the best helpers, this accessible introduction to biblical counseling will equip believers to share their burdens with one another through gentle words of wisdom and kind acts of love. This book is written for those eager to see God use ordinary relationships and conversations between ordinary Christians to work extraordinary miracles in the lives of his people.
Shame controls far too many of us. Worthless, inferior, rejected, weak, humiliated, failure...it all adds up to wishing we could get away from others and hide. We know what shame feels like. The way out, however, is harder to find. Time doesn't help, neither does confession, because shame is just as often from what others do to you as it is from what you have done. But the Bible is about shame from start to finish, and, if we are willing, God's beautiful words break through.
Look at Jesus through the lens of shame and see how the marginalized and worthless are his favorites and become his people. God cares for the shamed. Through Jesus you are covered, adopted, cleansed, and healed.
Shame Interrupted is a perfect book if you are feeling left out or marginalized because it will help you understand that all Christians are loved by God. You'll learn that through faith there is nothing to be ashamed about and you should celebrate your differences.
A Small Book for the Anxious Heart is a small but powerful devotional to remind men and women of the encouraging, beautiful words in Scripture to anxious people.
While many books on fear and anxiety exist—promising to help men and women manage their struggles with methods and formulas—this devotional reaches deeper into Scripture, making the Word of God more accessible. Don’t put a Band-Aid on your fear and anxiety; rather, learn to bring your fear to Jesus, relying on his Word.
Welch has been counseling for over thirty-eight years and is the author of more than a dozen books, including A Small Book about a Big Problem, Running Scared: Fear, Worry and the God of Rest, Shame Interrupted, When People Are Big and God Is Small, and many others.
Jesus cares for us, and in these readings, Welch invites readers to trust him for today, knowing he goes before us always.
Imagine . . . an interconnected group of people who entrust themselves to each other. You can speak of your pain, and someone responds with compassion and prayer. You can speak of your joys, and someone rejoices with you. You can ask for help with sinful struggles, and someone prays with you.
The goal of this book is that these meaningful relationships will become a natural part of daily life in your church. With short chapters and discussion questions meant to be read in a group setting, Ed Welch guides small groups through eight lessons that show what it looks like when ordinary, needy people care for other ordinary, needy people in everyday life.
Looking away from despair towards hope can feel risky. What if God doesn't come through for you? What if you don't feel instantly better? Instead of offering simple platitudes or unrealistic "cure-all" formulas, Edward T. Welch addresses the complex nature of depression with compassion and insight, applying the rich treasures of the gospel, and giving fresh hope to those who struggle. Originally published as Depression: A Stubborn Darkness—Light for the Path, this new edition is updated with added content.
“I cannot overstate the importance, timeliness, and helpfulness of this book. Ed has given us the wisdom that only comes from a heart shaped by the gospel and a deep compassion for people, generated by the love of Jesus. This is a must read and a must share.”
Scotty Smith, Senior Pastor, Christ Community Church; author of The Reign of Grace and Objects of His Affection
“An all-too-rare combination of gospel understanding, biblical wisdom, personal empathy and long counseling experience shines through these pages. What is most needed is a course of divinely prescribed anti-depressants. Like a skilled spiritual pharmacist, Ed Welch fills that prescription for us.”
Sinclair B. Ferguson, Senior Minister, First Presbyterian Church, Columbia, S.C.; theologian; author of The Christian Life
"I have come to rely on Ed Welch and others at CCEF for guidance and insight in better understanding the issues of the soul that plague many people today. For those who want to address more than just the symptoms of depression, Ed's counsel is invaluable."
Bob Lepine, Co-Host, FamilyLife Today
Edward T. Welch, M.Div., Ph.D., is a licensed psychologist and faculty member at the Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation (CCEF). He has counseled for over twenty-five years and has written many books including When People Are Big and God Is Small; Addictions: A Banquet in the Grave; Running Scared: Fear, Worry, and the God of Rest; Crossroads: A Step-by-Step Guide Away from Addiction; and When I Am Afraid: A Step-by-Step Guide Away from Fear and Anxiety. Ed and his wife Sheri have two married daughters and four grandchildren.
In his new release, Running Scared, Edward T. Welch investigates the roots of fear in the human soul and the ramifications of living in the grips of anxiety, worry, and dread. Welch encourages readers to discover for themselves that the Bible is full of beautiful words of comfort for fearful people (and that every single person is afraid of something). Within the framework of thirty topical meditations, Welch offers sound biblical theology and moment-by-moment, thoughtful encouragement for life-saving rescue in the midst of the heart and mind battlefield of rampant panic-stricken responses.
This comprehensive primer on the topic of fear, worry, and the rest of God will have Christians looking to scripture for invariable constancy, stalwart care, and robust comfort, instead of as Welch terms it hitting the default switch by responding with characteristic human independence, control, and self-protectiveness. Running Scared affirms that, through biblical Scripture, God speaks directly to our fears: On money and possessions On people and their judgments On death, pain, and punishment. Welch's lively text provides convincing evidences that humanity's struggle against active and dormant fears are countless.
The good news is that God provides both the remedy and the cure for this malady in the person of Jesus Christ, the work of the Holy Spirit, and through powerful, life-altering promises in Christian Scripture. Far more than merely another psychology self-help guide, Running Scared serves as a biblical roadmap to a life of serenity and security.
This means that the task before the reader in this book is twofold: to introduce areas where the brain has received too little credit, and to highlight where the brain has received too much credit (or blame).
And such hope is encouraged by reports suggesting that we are on the verge of revolutionary brain treatments for problems that were once attributed to the soul.
The theological structure presented in Part One is fairly straightforward: we are created by God as a unity of at least two substances — spirit and body. Nothing new here. This is a theological statement that has stood for centuries. What is new, however, is the application of this theology to some modern question. To help the reader think through these issues and questions, Part One of this book supplies the theological resources necessary for dialogue with the brain sciences. Why theological resources rather than technological and scientific? Because theology is the lens through which Christians interpret all research, and it is essential that our lens be clear and accurate. Sadly, in relation to the brain sciences, our lenses have been particularly cloudy, and, as a result, they have not controlled our vision. In fact, many people seem to take their biblical lenses off entirely when looking at brain research. Therefore, Part One will clean and polish the reader's theological glasses.
Outfitted with this theology and its manifold applications, Part Two will put it to work. Part Two explores some modern diagnoses and experiences, all attributed to the brain, and considers them from a biblical perspective. Welch thoughtfully challenges the reader to learn a way of thinking that will allows them to think biblically about specific problems as they are encountered. This, in turn, helps to equip and enable the reader to minister biblically, with confidence, wisdom, and compassion.