Falling in line with our social media focus this month of "Addiction, Recovery, and the Gospel", we will be reviewing John Baker's "Life's Healing Choices: Freedom from Your Hurts, Hang-Ups, and Habits". This book review was written by one of our counselors, Barry Bolin, who works in our Pisgah, Scottsboro, Guntersville, and Rainsville offices. Barry has a special interest in addiction so he volunteered to do our book review this month. If you would like to learn more about Barry, click here.
The synopsis of the book is best described from the book itself. The following is a direct quote:
“…Life’s Healing Choices offers freedom from our hurts, hang-ups, and habits through eight healing choices that promise true happiness and life transformation. Using the Beatitudes of Jesus as a foundation, Senior Pastor Rick Warren of
and John Baker, who is also a
pastor of Saddleback, developed the eight choices shared in this book.” Saddleback Church
“…Through making each of these choices, you too will find God’s pathway to wholeness, growth, spiritual maturity, happiness, and healing. You’ll find real answers, real hope, and a real future-one healing choice at a time.”
In the last section of the book called “Closing Thoughts”, there are scripture references for each chapter of the book. This is an instant theme-based bible study tool for anyone with any need. Each chapter is well organized including “action items” that prompt the reader to apply what is being consumed. The action items include pray about it, write about it, and share about it. Another approach the writer takes is to include stories or testimonies of others that have experienced recovery. This approach creates many benefits including demonstrating to the reader that we are not alone in our struggles as well as inspiration to go forward in recovery. There are those of us that enjoy a “step approach” or “how to approach” to most anything we encounter in life. LHC provides this feature and many will find this appealing rather than reading overly abstract concepts that can create ambiguity and lack of focus. Finally, the book integrates both bible-based eternal truths with practical direction to meet the needs of brain and spirit.
In the chapter called “Making Changes”, there is a section discussing character defects. One of the questions raised addressed the source of our character defects. I found the explanation given by the author to be appropriately balanced. The sources cited were biological, sociological, and theological. The terms are converted into more memorable words like chromosomes, circumstances, and choices. What I like even more about this section is that the reader is provoked to be responsible for behavior in spite of sources. This creates ownership for making positive changes. Maybe a weakness of the material, in contrast to professional journals and the like, is the absence of evidence-based research especially on addiction and recovery.
Difficult. How do I narrow down one line in the book that wins over so many others? Rather than commit to one, there are a pair of quotes that can redirect our lives toward stronger healthiness.
In Choice 6, Repairing Relationships…
“Nothing drains you emotionally like bitterness and resentment.”
Then in Choice 7, Maintaining Momentum…
“Pride blinds us to our own weaknesses and keeps us from seeking help.”
If you are interested in purchasing this book, click here.