Book Review: Healing is a Choice

I decided to review the book Healing is a Choice by Stephen Arterburn after attending the incredible Women of Faith Conference.  At the conference, they emphasized being healthy spiritually and that we do have choices in how we feel and act each day.  They said if you were having trouble in this area to seek help.  I thought this book would be a perfect follow up to the conference.

Eight years ago, I read Waking the Dead by John Eldredge and then proceeded to read the rest of his works.  Going through his books helped me to sort through a lot of stuff and find a lot of freedom in different areas.  The last couple of years though I haven't really focused on "healing" per se and I began to see the residual effects in my life.  Issues began creeping up slowly, that were just annoying at first but started turning into bad habits.  I've learned that when things continue and I'm not able to stop them, through prayer alone that there is usually something else going on.  I've learned that it is worth finding out what the roots are and attacking them.  After attending the conference, I decided to attack these things head on.  So onto the book review:

Healing is a Choice is slightly intimidating when you receive it because it is 454 pages long!  Why is it so long?  Because it is the book and a full workbook combined.  The book discusses 10 decisions that will transform your life and 10 lies that can prevent you from making them.  The book is actually a fairly quick and easy read.  It is the workbook part that is full and intense.

The author is divorced after a 20 plus year marriage.  He uses much of the book to discuss the process of healing he went through after his divorce.  I personally struggled with how he chose to talk about his ex-wife and his former marriage.  His examples ended up being a hurdle I had to overcome to get to the truths of the book.  However, what I really found beneficial was the workbook portion of the book.  It is excellent and it is filled with Scripture and lots of good questions to ask.  It provided a good quiet time for me to talk to the Lord about some things!  I personally found the workbook  portion to be helpful and healing and it did provide what I was looking for, a format to deal with some of these issues.

Here are a couple of other thoughts about the book.  He mentions the possibility of using the book in small groups.  After leading small groups for the last 7 years, I would say this would not be a good idea.  The book is pretty intense, and depending on people's pasts could bring up some very deep issues.  When I lead a group SAFETY is my number one concern and it takes time to establish that. The group would have to be safe and the leader would have to equipped to handle the issues brought up.  Finally, if you can't afford counseling with a professional, the workbook portion might be a cost-effective way for you to get help.

Walking healed and whole is a choice.  Often times Christians walk around broken inside but "happy" on the outside.  After years of being around Christianity, I've watched these "happy" Christians crumble.  I've determined in my heart that this is not going to be my story.  What I've learned is that God just doesn't want us to look "good on the outside" but He truly cares about our hearts.  He wants to bring healing to our hearts and sometimes that involves looking at the past and letting God bring truth to the pains of the past.  Don't be afraid to grab God's hand and walk into the past with Him.

In Christ,

PS I received this book free of charge from Booksneeze.  All opinions expressed are mine and mine alone.

1 comment:

  1. I was also at that Women of Faith Conference and heard Steve Arterburn speak. I was hurting at the time. I found his words to
    be like salve to my open wounds. During the break, I looked at the
    chapter titles of his book and each one spoke to my broken heart. His
    circumstances were very different from mine, but I realized that I could
    make some choices that would allow healing to begin. We began a group at our church called, Healing is a Choice, and out of it came lives that
    were changed and healed. Many went on to help, encourage, teach and
    support others. Others went on to be a part of a support ministry
    called Christian Help Hotline. The website is They are the Survivors. They found
    freedom from their painful circumstances and now offer Hope to other
    Christians who want to Heal. His book has impacted the lives of many
    people in our community. God used it as one of the ways He brought healing
    into my life. We found when one person can be transparent with their life, their failures and the work that God is doing, it encourages others. Just thought you may way to know the good that came from that one Women of Faith Conference and this book.


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