Monday, December 26, 2011

Book Review: The Exceptional Life by Stephen Arterburn

The purpose of The Exceptional Life is to help people get rid emotional dysfunction (guilt, shame, resentment, fear, anger, instant gratification, learned helplessness, isolation, and addiction) that is controlling them and replace it with emotional health (hope, love, trust, forgiveness, patience, power, connection and community, and freedom). Each chapter focuses on one type of negative emotion and one type of positive emotion to replace it with. There are stories included of how Stephen has seen people’s lives transformed in these areas and also how he has been affected and transformed as well. Readers will have better discernment when they are finished reading this book as to whether they possess any of the behaviors of emotional dysfunction and it will show them that there is a lot of hope of healing from that emotional dysfunction.

Probably the most important point I learned in this book is that we shouldn’t let hurts in our lives affect us from moving forward. We don’t own the hurts that were done to us, the people that caused the hurts own them and it’s their responsibility to fix whatever is happening on the inside of them that is making them hurt people. We are all pretty much responsible for hurting someone at some point in our lives. One other key point that I learned is that if we have resentment in our lives we are most likely shutting out God.

This is the second book by Stephen Arterburn I have reviewed. I don’t want to play favorites and say he is a favorite author of mine in the “healing” category, although I do want to say I would probably rarely pass up an opportunity to review any of his books in the “healing” area because I think he has the gifting and the mind of Christ in this area. I love his recommendation for people who are struggling with the issues described in this book to get connected with a 12-step group. I recommend this book to anybody that is showing signs of guilt, shame, resentment, fear, anger, instant gratification, learned helplessness, isolation, and addiction that want to try to heal from those behaviors.

I received this book free from Bethany House Publishers for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

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