This text was on a recommended reading list for counselors at the crisis pregnancy center when I serve. The focus is that most problems Christians deal with in their personal lives are a result of personal life choices or attitudes. As Christians, we are given the Scriptures to address those issues. Remembering our standing with God, and releying on the guidance of the Holy Spirit, are critical to every day and every decision of our lives, as this text explains. Rather than blame outside factors, we are responsible only for our responses to those factors and God have given us the power to respond as Jesus would have done. "Must read" for counselors, but every Christian should read this text. We all know someone who is trouble or comes to us for advice. The author wrote several other texts which explain practical application of the Christian principles, and how to help in specific situation. If you are interested in counseling, you should order every text by Jay Adams!
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This book is an excellent introduction to and overview of Christian counseling as well as Christian living. It debunks traditional secular approaches to therapy such as Freud, Rogers and Skinner and makes the point that the only true hope for meaningful and lasting change is by our taking responsibility for our actions, redemption through Jesus Christ and sanctification by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Many counseling approaches look at either "nature," "nurture," or a combination, for the source of the problem as well as the treatment. But, as Adams says (p. 250), "[T]he Christian knows that a third factor, the Person of the Holy Spirit, enters the picture to enable Christians by his power to respond in accordance with the commands of God. Personality, then, is nature and nurture. But Christians by the Spirit have become more than â€˜natural' men (cf. 1 Corinthians 2). They have been changed and may continue to change their personalities by the work of the Spirit."
The book points out that Christian counseling is effective because its approach is applicable to daily Christian living, not just resolving the "problems" in our lives. In this regard, the book is a valuable resource for all Christians. Again quoting Adams (p.248), "Perhaps one of the reasons why the reading of Scripture has become academic and irrelevant, influencing life so little, is because people have read it as a book apart from living. The Scriptures are full of principles (usually connected with or imbedded in concrete situations) that really can be put into practice. Verses come alive as they become part of one's life."
It has been said that you can give a man a fish and he will feed himself for a day; teach him to fish and he will feed himself for a lifetime. This book is perhaps the best overview I have read on the subject of "biblical fishing." It touches on how to biblically address issues such as anger and forgiveness in our own lives, how to deal with problems in relationships with spouses and others, how to raise children in the way most likely to produce responsible adults, and even how teachers in Christian schools can use a biblical approach to teach problem solving in a way that is honoring to God.