Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Saints, Sufferers, and Sinners by Michael R Emlet

Your friend from church needs some help. You're not a counselor so what do you say? How do you act? Emlet gives us valuable instruction in this book on helping others. While the Bible is not specific, it does give foundational ways to understand and help others. He notes early that what he teaches in this book is primarily for helping fellow believers.

Emlet says every person needing your counsel is facing one of two issues. Every person is struggling with identity at some level which also knowing one's purpose. Every person is struggling with evil on some level, either done to them (suffering) or from within (sin).

How God ministers to His people is the model. We are saints who need confirmation of our identity as children of God. We are sufferers who need comfort in our affliction. We are sinners who need to challenge our sin in light of God's mercy.

Here is a concept I found particularly insightful. With regard to identity, we forget who we are and need to be reminded we are saints loved by God and indwelt by the Holy Spirit. A surprise for me was Emlet noting that we might have difficulty helping someone because we are not living our identity in Christ. That was thought provoking.

Emlet's suggestions are so biblical. In helping those suffering, for example, he looks at how Jesus approached those suffering. He did not compare a person's suffering with that of another. He never gave an explanation for the suffering. Those are two areas where I have missed properly helping another.

I am impressed with the teaching in this book. It is focused on how God approaches these issues and is quite practical. He includes many examples of his own work so we get a good feel for how this helping others is done. I highly recommend this book to every Christian.

You can watch the book trailer here.

You can get a preview, including the table of contents, introduction and first chapter here.

My rating: 5/5 stars.

Michael R Emlet, MDiv,MD, practiced as a family physician for over ten years before becoming a counselor and faculty member at the Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation (CCEF). He is the author of several books. He serves as an elder at City Church Philadelphia and enjoys gardening and pottery in his free time. He and his wife are the parents of two young adults.

New Growth Press, 208 pages.

I received a complimentary digital copy of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.

(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)

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