Monday, January 4, 2010

Book Review: Every Thought Captive

book cover

Every Thought Captive:
Battling the Toxic Beliefs That Separate Us
from the Life We Crave
by Jerusha Clark

Trade Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: TH1NK Books
First Released: 2006

Source: Review copy from publisher (NavPress).

Back Cover Description:
What's on your mind today?

Your significant other, or your lack thereof? The flippant comment someone made? Your image in the mirror? Are you wondering what tomorrow will look like or why yesterday turned out the way it did?

As thoughts like these float through our minds, we often allow ourselves to believe poisonous lies that hijack our minds and separate us from the life Jesus died to give us.

Christ declares, "You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free" (John 8:32). Being set free and grabbing hold of the life we crave starts with taking our minds captive to what is true.

In Every Thought Captive, Jerusha Clark explores the deepest recesses of the feminine mind and examines the sources of our insecurities, unholy desires, and anxieties. Drawing from her own experience and those of other women, Clark shares insights from God's Word that provide a road map to victory over toxic beliefs.

Every Thought Captive is an excellent book for women who have self-worth issues, who have trouble with worry/anxiety, forgiveness, envy, lust, eating habits or body issues, depression, those who crave acceptance from others, and those who get trapped into extreme business or fall into apathy. The author covers problems, some common to everyone, but from a distinctly female perspective.

She shared stories of women who struggle with or have struggled with these issues. She then identified the root of the problem and shed the light of Biblical truth on the various lies women may believe who have this problem. Not every problem--or every lie listed under each problem--will apply to every woman. She deliberately gave a wide list to try to help the reader recognize if they have the problem and to apply the truth that specifically addresses the lie they believe. The author was never condemning in tone--many of these problems were lies she believed and the rest were lies her close friends have struggled with.

I really liked how she focused on using the truths from the Bible, replacing the lies believed with the truth that frees. If you think you (or, in the case of men, your wife or daughter) may have a problem with one of the issues listed above, especially body issues ("I hate my body"), then I'd highly recommend this excellent, easy to understand book.

If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.

Excerpt from Forward by Beth Redman
Over the last decade I’ve come across many young women desperate to live their lives for Jesus yet slowed down on their journey by negative thought patterns. Despite their best efforts, these women just can’t seem to break free. It’s tragic to see women so full of potential and purpose enslaved by lies from the Enemy about who they are and who they can be in Christ. Thankfully I’ve also seen the other side: many, many women who in spite of deep-seated insecurity, difficult upbringings, or even abusive pasts have managed to overcome these toxic thoughts and find their way to freedom. And every time the antidote has been the same: truth.

I myself can testify to this. After being brought up on an emotional diet of verbal abuse and physical bullying, I soon started to feel the effects. By my teenage years I was totally off course, believing lies about myself and living out of them. But the grace of God found me, and the truth of Jesus set me free from this pattern. Years later I’m living, feeding, and depending on the very same truth every day. The truth of Jesus alone has the power to mend and to heal, to release and to restore, to encourage and to empower. Without it, we are thrown about in a stormy ocean full of deception and discouragement. With it, we stand with our feet on firm ground — the solid rock of Jesus Christ, the unchanging and unfailing One.

This is the powerful and inspiring theme running through Every Thought Captive. With helpful insights and honest testimony, Jerusha Clark invites us to dwell on truth. She beckons us away from the perils of perfectionism, points out the dangers of living in insecurity, and highlights the paralyzing effect of fear on our spiritual walks. Along the way, she encourages us into a truth-inspired journey in which we dream and laugh and adventure with our God. But as Jerusha herself points out, this is no self-help book with a twelve-step formula guaranteed to bring you healing. Instead, her aim is to saturate you in the life-giving revelation of the Bible, the only power that can enable you to stop believing lies and move forward in truth. As she writes, “Though my words may fail you, God’s Word will not.”

The truth of Jesus transforms us. Let Jerusha and her wonderful words help you battle any toxic beliefs that keep you from the life you desire in God — and plug you into His wonderful and powerful truth.

Read chapter one.

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