Saturday, October 12, 2013

Stress by Dr. Steven Haymon

Do Christians have stress? Yes, sometimes made worse by thinking they shouldn't have any! Haymon reminds us that God uses circumstances in our lives to shape us. We might think we shouldn't have to face challenging situations, yet that is how we mature.

Biblical characters had stress too and Haymon highlights their stressors and the tools they used to help them overcome it. He looks at the lives of Samson, Abraham, Jesus, David, Joseph, and Paul to glean valuable principles for walking with God and honoring Him. Paul, for example, realized he had to totally depend upon God. He saw his circumstances through God's eyes. “Paul understood that whatever was happening to him could help him to become more like Christ, and it was all for God's designed purpose.” (29) He learned to be content in all his circumstances.

Haymon covers a number of issues in this book, including how we ask God for things and how He answers, suicide and overcoming those thoughts, God's timing, marriage, communication, boundaries, self concept, getting support, and much more.

Remember,” he writes, “stress is the perception of what's happening, rather than what's actually happening.” (75-6) He advises trusting God, seeing your circumstances from God's viewpoint, seeing the bigger picture. “An intimate relationship with God is the only remedy for the stress we will encounter.” (204)

Haymon has provided much good information for Christians on dealing with stress. This book could have benefited from additional editing or proof reading, however, as there are a few awkward sentences and verb tense issues. Also, there is one place I have a definite disagreement with Haymon. Writing about being unequally yoked, he likens Lutherans and Muslims to denominations. Here is the passage: “The Scriptures are not intimating that Baptists shouldn't be with Pentecostals, Lutherans shouldn't be with Muslims, or a non-denominational churchgoer shouldn't be with a Catholic.” (153) Haymon definitely believes Christians should not date or marry nonbelievers, but the above quote may cause confusion on the issue.

Dr. Steven Haymon has 42 years experience as a psychotherapist/consultant/minister. He loves helping individuals to holistically reduce stress with the power of God through workshops, seminars, and educational lectures. He has an Ed.D in educational psychology, an M.S.W. In social work and has completed Christian educational classes at Bethesda Bible Institute. Find out more at www.greaterinsight.net.

Greater Insight Publishing, 224 pages.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author through the Book Group Network for the purpose of this review.
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