The Wall Around Your Heart - How Jesus Heals You When Others Hurt You - By Mary De Muth
The Wall Around Your Heart - Mary DeMuthThis is a surprisingly candid book that deals with forgiveness and hurt using the template of the Lord's prayer. Mary shares her experiences openly, even when she has been in the wrong. She describes the pain and discomfort of hurtful relationships, even when one is the victim. She doesn't stop there, however. She goes on to show how one can live victoriously through Christ's help.
The final part of the book is a clear eye-pener to help one identify abusive ministry leaders and ministry situations. These are areas in which many people become vulnerable and suffer a lot. Here are a few of the pointers that Mary shares.
They demand personal allegiance as proof of the follower's allegiance to Christ
They use exclusive language - they say, "We're the only ministry really following Jesus," or "we have all the right theology."
They demand servanthood of their followers but live prestigious, privileged livesbooksneeze
They buffer from criticism by placing people around themselves whose only allegiance is to the leader. Abusive leaders view people who bring up issues as enemies. Those who were once friends or allies swiftly become combatants when a concern is raised. Sometimes these people who bring up honest issues are banished, told to be silent, or shamed into submission.
When others hurt us, it's so easy to put up walls to keep from getting hurt. But those walls do more than just keep others out; it keeps our pain and hurt inside, allowing it to poison our own souls. In "The Wall Around Your Heart", author Mary DeMuth breaks down the Lord's Prayer and explores how each statement can be used as a prayer for healing from hurt and broken relationships. A fabulous mix of personal insights and solid Scriptural teaching, DeMuth leads us on a profound and challenging journey to healing and wholeness.
She examines how the walls we build affect other people, as well as our relationship with God. She invites us to ask God in to these broken places in our lives and urges us to allow Him to do His work in our lives to bring about the healing that we just can't do on our own.
As I was reading this book, I was struck by the simplicity of some of the ideas (example: God loves me, but He also loves the ones who hurt me) and just how impactful those statements are in the context of this journey. At the end of each chapter, there are questions for deeper reflection, making this a perfect read for a small group Bible study. I highly recommend this book and am eager to reread it, slowly digesting the truths presented here.
(I've received this complimentary book through the Book Sneeze program in exchange for a review. A positive review was not required and the views expressed in my review are strictly my own.)
The tendency of mankind to build walls in order to protect is evident all around us. Some walls we build are unseen. They are erected bit by bit around our hearts when someone wounds us. We valiantly attempt to keep ourselves from further pain and suffering. The problem with walls is that while they keep bad things out, they also hinder good things from coming in.
In her book, The Wall Around Your Heart - How Jesus Heals You When Others Hurt You, Mary DeMuth tackles the issue of the walls we have built around our hearts. Her approach is different than other books I've read on the same subject. She looks at hurt, suffering, walls, and our response, through an exposition on the Lord's Prayer. As she breaks down the Lord's Prayer, phrase by phrase, she takes us on a journey exploring wounding and our responses.
In each chapter, Mary is very honest. She shares from her past, her struggles, and reminds us that this is not always an easy road to forgive. At the end of each chapter she includes thought provoking questions to meditate upon. She also includes prayers, when applicable, which you can easily pray by filing in the blank of the name of a person you are struggling to forgive. It is simple and yet profound.
This book was well written and very enlightening. While I don't think this journey of healing will happen overnight, I believe the author gives the reader very practical advice in regards to allowing the Healer to begin a work in our hearts. Mary does not minimize the reality of the wounding, but she points us to the cross and reminds us that we too have inflicted great wounds. Near the end of the book she reminds us of the parable in Matthew 18, where the servant is forgiven a great debt, but in turn does not forgive a paltry debt. This is a solemn reminder to each of us that forgiveness is a choice we must make by God's grace, if we want to be forgiven.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone struggling with hurt and wounds, but also to anyone in church leadership. I think the church is lacking in keys to help people have victory over areas in their lives where this struggle is very real. Many people leave the church because of wounding and we need a better understanding of how to deal with this struggle in the lives of God's children.
I was given a copy of this book to review free of charge from Booksneeze.com book reviews. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.