Healing is a Choice by Stephen Arterburn is a fantastic step-by-step guide through the process of spiritual and emotional healing. This was my second Arterburn book, and I have to tell you that I was quite impressed. The last one was Every Man’s Battle, which feels like it was a good many years ago. But this was a nice, fresh re-introduction to the writings of Arterburn.
Having just recently gone through a divorce after 20 years of marriage, Arterburn is certainly familiar with what it takes to get over emotional hardship. Not only that, but he has been a Christian Counselor for well over 20 years. His experience and knowledge certainly plays itself out in the pages of his book. Apparently he also has the #1 syndicated Christian counseling show on the radio…and somewhere like 8 million copies of his written words in print. All-in-all it sounds like the guy has a little bit of knowledge. And the popularity shows that people trust his words as important to being spoken into their lives.
I’m not necessarily saying that popularity equals reliability. Just look at the Bieber Fever. Millions of album sales don’t really convince me that the kid knows about love…or life. But this isn’t the time where I bash on the Biebs. I’m sure there will be plenty of time for that at a later date.
Arterburn’s thesis is that healing (primarily emotional healing) is a choice that must be made. In order to support this thesis, he presents 10 “Choices” that must be made to overcome the “Big Lies” that tend to hold people back as they try to heal. I was originally taken back by the premise that it is our choice to heal. It really felt a little too much like “mind over matter” or “just try harder and you’ll get better.” Not to say that there doesn’t need to be effort when one is trying to get better, but that shouldn’t be the whole deal, right? Fortunately, Arterburn fully agrees on this point.
Healing is a choice, but it is God’s choice, and we have to be willing to go along with it. Arterburn does a fantastic job of opening up the floodgates of his own life to expose the way that he interacted with the 10 Choices. It’s one thing to throw out a path to healing, but it’s quite another to have to walk it through on your own. Arterburn approaches the topic with honesty and transparency. This book is not just for someone who needs to be healed, but is also a thought-provoking guide for those who want a guide to how to live an emotional healthier life. The same steps that can help us heal our emotional scars can also be our guideposts for avoiding injury in the first place.
I highly recommend this book. If more people were to actually engage their emotional limitations and injuries, then we may all be slightly more emotionally healthy in the long run. And that might just be a good thing.
I received this copy courtesy of Booksneeze to give a good, honest review. I didn’t have to given an positive review, but it’s pretty spectacular.