A Review of Stephen Arterburn’s Healing is a Choice

Do You Want to Get Well?

In a revised edition of a previously written work, Christian counselor and author Stephen Arterburn gets personal as he unpacks the process of healing we all need in Healing is A Choice: Ten Decisions that Will Transform Your Life and Ten Lies That Can Prevent You From Making Them.

They are, respectively:

  1. The Choice to Connect Your Life (to others and healing communities and groups) vs. the belief (lie) that “All I need to heal is just God and me.”
  2. The Choice to Feel Your Life (acknowledge and process your feelings) vs. the belief (lie) that ” Real Christians should have a a real peace in all circumstances.”
  3. The Choice to Investigate Your Life in Search of Truth vs. the belief (lie) that “It does no good to look back or look inside.”
  4. The Choice to Heal Your Future vs. the belief (lie) that “Time Heals All Wounds.”
  5. The Choice to Help Your Life (by yourself) vs. the belief (lie) “I Can Figure this out by myself.”
  6. The Choice to Embrace Your Life vs. the belief (lie) “If I just act as if there is no problem, it will finally go away.”
  7. The Choice to Forgive vs. the belief (lie) that “Forgiveness is only for those who deserve or earn it.”
  8. The Choice to Risk Your Life (and face your pain) vs. the belief (lie) “I must protect myself from any more pain.”
  9. The Choice to Serve (others and God now) vs. belief (lie) “Until I am completely healed and strong, there is no place for me to serve God.”
  10. The Choice to Perserve vs. the belief (lie) “There is no hope for me.”

The personal touch on this revised edition of this book, which includes an end of chapter study guide, that has many helpful exercises, is Arterburn’s journey from marriage through divorce and back into remarriage, though he does not spend a great deal of time on the details of each phase.

Time and again Arterburn stresses that while healing ultimately comes from God, each of us has to continuously make the choice to want to heal and be well. He stresses the ability and desire of God to help a hurting person make healthy, though often difficult, decisions to embrace healing and take the steps necessary to move forward.

Arterburn does not throw faith around in this book as a simplistic fix to a person’s deep inner wounds. Rather, he admits, through his own personal experience (without sounding self-aggrandizing) that faith is a way to navigate the hard places, such as forgiving the one who has harmed or hurt you.  There were many important and helpful statements that I underlined in my iBooks version of this book and two that I found to be helpful and perspective giving were the twenty personal inventory questions that appear in the chapter detailing the the third choice: Investigate Your Life in Search of Truth and the wonderful affirmations of chapter 11.

With the study guides this would be a wonderful book to use in group study.

I rate this book a ‘great’ read.

Note: I received an eBook version of this work via the Thomas Nelson’s blogging review program Booksneeze in exchange for a review. I was not required to write a positive review.


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