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Living Above Your Circumstances Paperback – August, 1996
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If you are a Christian, and believe that Jesus lived, was crucified, died, and rose victorious from the grave, then this book will speak to your soul in teh most meaningful way. It will impart a whole new appreciation for the sacrifice of Christ, what that sacrifice means for your life, and how it can impact your life in a truly amazing manner, allowing you to live above any and all circumstances. Author Bob George clearly spells out what the Christian worldview is and how the "Good News" of the gospel message can change one's perspective and thereby lift depression. He goes into detail on how false expectations and dependencies can lead one into depression. The solution to depression is to first recognize the false ideas, false expectations, and unhealthy dependencies that lead to depression. Author George devotes a chapter to these unhealthy maladaptive tendencies, explains how they start, why they start, and how they over the course of time lead to an unfulfilled empty life which in some people result in depression. The next step is to begin the process of aquiring and learning the mind of Christ, to see life from an eternal perspective, and to ultimately learn to live above one's circumstances. He likens the Christian worldview perspective to the Apostle Paul, when Paul wrote he was "content in any circumstance".
In addition to developing a mindset that overcomes depression, George's book is a sterling primer on original sin, how it corrupts the thinking of mankind, how these rebellious thoughts lead to emotions, and how the emotions then lead to actions that separate us from God. In contrast, George shows how the believer receives the word of God through Bible study and the Holy Spirit's prompting, how those thoughts lead to developing the mind of Christ, and finally how this leads to actions that bring honor and glory and service to God. George explains how one must be born again and receive the Holy Spirit in order to have one's mindset changed and renewed by the love and grace of Christ. Personally, I have never read the Christian doctrine so clearly stated.
George explains how mankind was created to be dependent on God alone - a healthy dependence. In fact, we were created to serve God in order to be fulfilled as individuals. Unfortunately, as fallen beings, instead of dependence on God, we often fall into dependance on other people, other pursuits, drugs, sex, food, hobbies, or even other people. And that which we are dependent on ultimately controls and owns us. Therefore, to be dependent on Christ, and to acquire the mind of Christ is the goal of every Christian.
On the flip side, if you do not believe in Christ, or do not believe in the words of the Bible as truth, then this book will hold no value for lifting or treating depression. In fact, the unbeliever will not be able to see how this book could help whatsoever.
Personally, I loved this book. It helped me see my life in a whole new way; a very positive and joyful way. Other readers of course will have different reactions based on their worldview.
I consider this a great Christian resource.
We all have different personalities, so it may not be a book for everyone. But I can definitely say that it's helpful as you can see where you may be setting yourself up for disappointment without even realizing it.
This is the newer "reboot" version of the same previous book with a different title, although I can't remember the name of the older one at the moment. I have both books, and this newer version has an easier paragraph format and added notes in the chapters, as well as an updated cover. This is one of those books that I hand out to friends knowing that they will get some benefit out of reading it whether struggling or not. I think it has some good information for everyone.
It is well written, "un-verbose", and having a workbook/study guide attached within the book is fantastic. I'm halfway through and have already learned more than I have in any other self-help book on depression.