Healing is a Choice by Stephen Arterburn

Healing is a Choice by Stephen Arterburn is the latest book I’ve received from Thomas Nelson for reviewing.

This particular version is an updated and revised version that also includes the workbook that goes along with the book.

Each chapter of the book focuses on a particular choice each person has to make to choose healing, and the common lie that counters it. For example, the choice to forgive, and the lie that forgiveness must be earned. There is a list of ten total.

The writing style is easy to read, and gives lots of real life examples to show how each point plays out. The choices/lies themselves are pretty standard, nothing too groundbreaking or controversial.

To someone who is new to reading “recovery” sorts of books, this is probably very useful and maybe even rough to work through in some areas… going more into depth in sometimes painful spots.

Personally, in some ways it does seem like it made the concept more complicated than needed by breaking it down so much. Some of the different chapters seem like they have quite a bit of overlap with others, and it seems at times that focusing on each of the particular areas of the choice to move on with your life sort of loses the focus on the big picture.

The overall message is good that each person has to make their own choice to choose (repeatedly) to move on with their life instead of allowing it to trap them into wallowing. But I’m not sure this would be my top choice of books on that point to recommend to someone.

However, if I did, I think that I might actually tell them to get the older version instead. There was good content in the workbook sections that I wish would have been put into the book chapters themselves, but the way this version was done really didn’t make the combination go smoothly. The workbook sections appear to have been taken directly from the original workbook, and follow each of the regular chapters.

It was sort of annoying to read the chapter, do some exercises as the chapter went along, then have the same stories that you’d just read a few pages before be retold in a summary version, and then have many of the same exercises repeated… mixed in with some new ones and a meditation and prayer section.

It also makes the book feel really long. The chapter length itself isn’t bad, but when the extra repetition is added, they feel long to go through. (Total of about 450 pages)

I really wish that if they were taking the time and expense to make the new version, that they would have gone further and really merged the content together and removed the duplicated areas and made things a lot smoother.

It is a good book…. and can probably really change lives for some. But just not the best formatting, and maybe too divided and detailed.

Thomas Nelson book page



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