Siebeling looks at various issues that hold us back in our spiritual walk, such as emotions, worry, habits, anger, and more. He gives encouragement to overcome the issues, giving information from a variety of books, studies, and the Bible. I found the book contained great encouragement but frequently lacked practical strategy.
He writes, “We have to make the decision to change and then discipline ourselves to make choices that will produce the new habits we want in our life (willpower).” (79) And, “Breaking free from life-controlling issues isn't easy.” (97) One of his “simple 'starter steps'” is “Quit the habit.” (98) He makes encouraging statements like, “You need to make the choice to be done with that way of living.” (98) Sometimes I felt Siebeling told me what I should be doing without providing the tools I needed to do it. At other times he did have some good suggestions, such as the questions he provides to help in making good decisions. Sometimes he gives the idea and leaves the work to the readers. For example, “For every worry, find a promise in God's Word to address your situation.” (67)
“God's grace gives us the power to walk away from anything holding us back,” Siebeling declares. (102) Nonetheless, he also writes, “Some emotional hangups require self-discipline and practical lifestyle adjustments; others may require addressing more serious underlying issues or getting professional help.” (51) He also suggests professional help may be necessary when dealing with “life-controlling issues.” (97) It seems that, while God's grace gives us the power, we may need professional help as well. I would have preferred knowing practical ways of seeing God's power at work within me.
This book contains lots of instruction. For example, “Choose to be faithful to what you started. Faithfulness has rewards, so keep working even when it's hard.” (148) Here's another: “Make tithing your top financial priority each month. Find a way to make it work and adjust the rest of your budget to fit around it.” (157,158) If you respond well to that kind of instruction, along with some great stories illustrating the principles, you'll love this book. If, however, you need some practical coaching on how to keep working even when it's hard and finding a way to make tithing a priority, you will have to look elsewhere.
My rating: 4/5 stars.
John Siebeling is the founder and lead pastor of The Life Church, located in the metro Memphis, Tennessee, area. He is the author of several previous books and has a weekly television program.
Baker Books, 224 pages.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.