Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Book Review: Healing is a Choice: Ten Decisions That will Transform Your Life & Ten Lies That Can Prevent You from Making Them

Author: Stephen Arterburn
Nashville, Thomas Nelson, 2011
Number of pages: 480

“Creator of the universe is also the Healer of His universe. He is the ultimate decision maker as to how, when, and from whom we receive healing.” In the introduction of this book, author Stephen Arterburn gets right to the point with both the topic of the book and the source of the healing we are all so desparately in need of.

Arterburn points out that just like all the properties for physical healing are built into us by our Creator, so are the properties for the healing of our souls. But the choice to engage with the healing is our decision and often not an easy one to make.

No one can make you get healed. You have to want it. The fact that you're going to have to learn how to make it happen does not put healing out of reach. God will partner with you to see it through.

Arterburn looks back over the years he went through after a painful divorce to help the reader understand that his experience isn't simply academic. His experience is real and raw. He walked through a “decade of pain, insecurity, and loss.” It's from this process that he wants to help others find a future.

What Arterburn learned about healing from the pain of divorce was that he had to make a choice to forgive. The choice to forgive is not limited to a one time event, the choice to forgive presents itself over and over again.

Healing happens as a series of choices and that's how Arterburn lays out his book.
  1. The choice to connect your life
  2. The choice to feel your life
  3. The choice to investigate your life in search of truth
  4. The choice to heal your future
  5. The choice to help your life
  6. The choice to embrace your life
  7. The choice to forgive
  8. The choice to risk your life
  9. The choice to serve
  10. The choice to persevere
Each of the ten chapters names a lie determined to sabotage the work that needs to be done in your life and your relationships. Each chapter includes workbook questions to get you thinking about, writing down, and“[moving] you along [to] help you experience whatever healing God allows for your life.”

Throughout the book, Arterburn makes a strong argument without arguing. He is both a teacher and a cheerleader helping the reader gain perspective and see new possibilities for his life.

While Arterburn emphasizes our spiritual building blocks, solutions he offers are accessible, applicable, and bring value to repaired connections and hope for a future of sustainable relationships.

Personally, choosing to live in community has been the biggest challenge for me and the most important takeaway from the book. I need to quit thinking I can muscle my way through the challenges and roadblocks life throws up on my own. Seek to connect rather than correct. But, for a non-diplomatic, fight-about-the-details guy like me, that's a massive effort.

Reading and reviewing this book has been timely for me. It comes during a season when events in both my spiritual and professional life have inflicted personal pain and disappointment on me as well as many I am in community with. I definitely recommend this book for anyone in a similar season or someone carrying the heavy burdens of past broken relationships. I think that covers just about all of us. Get the book.

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