None of us grew up in a perfect family or have a perfect work environment. We all carry relational wounds and face unhealthy relationships.
Clinton and Springle want to help us break through the fog of our relationship problems. We “need a breakthrough – a flash of insight and a dose of courage to take action and change the status quo. And that's what this book will give you.” (4)
“The driving hope of every human heart is to be connected to someone, to give and receive authentic love...” (94) We struggle so much “because at our core all people on the planet fear rejection.” (94)
There is hope. “In the gospel of Christ, God offers the attachments for which the human heart longs...” (102) We were made for God and we will never find happiness or an answer to our divine discontent and emptiness until we reconnect with the God who made us.
The authors look at the life of Jesus as an example of right relationship. “He shrewdly observed people; he spoke the truth no matter how people might react; he offered relationship without manipulation.” (174)
The authors help us become aware of our patterns of mistrust, understand the scope of responsibility (heroes, turtles, field marshals), how to speak the truth (confrontation), how to take steps to resolve the damage of injustice (forgiveness), and how to step back and get a clearer view.
Throughout the book we are encouraged to seek the help of others, be it a friend, a small group, or a counselor. We need God's Word, God's people, and God's Holy Spirit. Change will not happen over night. And sometimes it might get worse before it gets better.
They finally remind us that life can be different. But half measures won't do. There must be conviction. Progress is like a long hike. There will be steep and difficult times. But with confidence that God holds tomorrow, there will be a breakthrough.
There are questions at the end of each chapter to think about. There are also suggestions for group use at the end of the book.
Food for thought: “The past isn't the past if it is still affecting the present.” (115)
This book is full of great encouragement for people needing to break through a difficult relationship. The authors give several examples of people who took the steps outlined. Some turn out well while others have seen their efforts thwarted, a reminder that we cannot control the actions of others.
As is often the case with books like this one, I think it would best be read with a friend or in a group setting. There is much to discuss and others will help maintain accountability with the difficult actions.
To watch a video by Dr. Tim Clinton on Break Through, go here.
To read the first chapter, go here.
Dr. Tim Clinton is the president of the American Association of Christian Counselors and founder of Light University Online. He is also the professor of counseling and executive director of the Center for counseling and Family Studies at Liberty University.
Pat Springle is the founder of Baxter Press and the coauthor of Codependency. He served on the staff of Campus Crusade for Christ and was an executive with Rapha Treatment Centers. He has authored or coauthored more than fifty books.
Worthy Publishing, 279 pages. Please visit your local Christian bookstore to buy this book.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through Handlebar Marketing for the purpose of this review..