Monday, October 7, 2013

Trying to Move On

Has someone ever done something to you that you struggled to forgive them for? I don't think any of us hasn't battled with offering forgiveness at some point. The most difficult forgiveness isn't always offered to others though, but can be what we deny ourselves. In his book, Moving Forward, Everett Worthington shares the intimate details of his own struggle following his brother's suicide. Early in the book he shares this simple truth, "The struggle is with yourself, and much of the work that needs to be done is in understanding your self, the circumstances of your biggest regrets, and the effect of these issues on your daily life."

Everett's painful personal story form the backdrop to this helpful book as he is starkly honest about his struggles with self-forgiveness. It's only in his own recovery that he is able to share true statements that help others overcome the pattern of self-condemnation. He says, " Breaking free from self-condemnation requires first that you become aware of the problem--and once you're aware of it, decide to deal with it." It's an honest and direct approach to an overwhelming problem. His main teaching and therapy principle is based on REACH forgiveness which carries you through five steps: Recall the hurt, Emotional replacement, Altruistic gift of forgiveness, Commit to the forgiveness you experience, Hold on to the forgiveness whenever you doubt you have forgiven. While it may appear to be formulaic it is more practical in terms of psychological and spiritual healing. 

It was difficult to read parts of this book and not because of the poor content. Everett's story of personal struggle with his brother's suicide painted a very real picture of someone who struggled through the very things that he was teaching. This is not an author spouting off theory, but one who had waded through the real battles of practical application. His intimate connection with God enabled him to find real healing and that is the premise of any genuine recovery from this kind of devastation. I recommend slowly reading through his book if this is a personal area of hardship. Meditating on each chapter will give the reader an opportunity to reflect on personal contributions to emotional struggles and find restoration through God's ultimate healing.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

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