BOOK REVIEW: My Own Worst Enemy: How to Stop Holding Yourself Back, by Janet Davis

Weaving a vulnerable re-telling of her personal story with ancient Biblical examples, Janet Davis brings a fresh and optimistic perspective to the struggle of self-sabotage.  My Own Worst Enemy is a daring look into our darker areas of shame, unworth, sadness, and fear, while exuding hope on each page.  Such a juxtaposition deserves praise, but the writer is not self-seeking, one rather senses she would be just as happy to have you sit down for coffee with her, and tell your story of growth and healing.  I love stories, and the successful weaving of old favorites with new provides much to glean from.  Janet summarizes the need for this book: “the dynamic of being our own worst enemies carries with it an inherent self-containment and great temptation for isolation.”  This, I easily resonated with.  Each chapter (and even the titles cause one to ponder) begins with a “consideration question,” which stirs the thoughts well before she has delved into her topic.  Loosely arranged around 3 examples of self-sabotage: the unimagined life, the unworthy life, and the unlived life, she follows quickly with our phases of healing and our choices to obtain wholeness.   This book is meant for savoring, for slow-growth, and is excellently suited for a deep Bible study or personal growth exercises.  From the title, I would not have thought this book would have so much to offer me, but any woman struggling with worth, worthiness, or place will find wisdom to draw from.

My thanks to Janet for writing such a tender book, and to Bethany House, for providing the advance copy in return for my review.

For Further Reading:

Janet Davis

bio

website

other works:  The Feminine Soul; Sacred Healing

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BOOK REVIEW: Healing is a Choice, by Stephen Arterburn

Despite my misgivings of the title, Healing is a Choice  is not a quick-fix manual, in the style of certain tele-evangelists.  Stephen Arterburn writes his most current tome in a conversational manner, workbook style.  I was pleased to find a wealth of thoughtful material, presented for normal, hurting Christians, about topics that the mainstream Christian church typically shies away from.

Presented in a 10-chapter format, where healing choices contrast with the lies that have been sold to us, Mr. Arterburn does not avoid the painful elements of life when discussing either his own story or those of others he has counseled on his daily radio show.  The version I reviewed contained workbook pages with each chapter – an essential part of this book.  Not for gift-giving, (unless you are a counselor), but personal growth in subjects like “The Choice to Feel Your Life,” in chapter 2, contrasted with the lie that “Real Christians should have a real peace in all circumstances.”  This hit home: while going through my own painful journey, I heard this lie – usually from smiling people without the depth of a healing process.  In contrast, the knowledge that my emotional pain was valid became liberating, and brought me (slowly) to peace and forgiveness.  With every chapter, I sensed a need for deeper study, which is why this review has taken so long (I am still not finished, but I hope you get the gist: excellent stuff here!).

In Mr. Arterburn’s words: “Your healing may be physical or it may be emotional and it could be spiritual.  I don’t know what God has for you. I am confident, however, that if you make the healing choices presented here and counter the lies you need to stop living, you will experience some level of healing to a new degree.” (intro,p.15)  In every page, every chapter and especially in the workbook pages, you are encouraged to make this a spiritual healing, by interacting with our grace-filled Saviour.

My hope is that this book is the fuel for your joyful living!

I was given a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my review, as part of the Booksneeze review blogger group.  You can join also!  Just click on the button at your right.

Resources:

Stephen Arterburn’s online radio presence : New Life Live Show

Christianbook.com’s listing of his written works

Amazon’s page: Stephen Arterburn