By Max Lucado
A review by Tom Kennedy
Max Lucado is the master of the inspirational Christian book. In this one he tackles how to control anxiety from a Biblical perspective. He begins in the first few chapters talking about the greatness of God followed by several chapters explaining that Philippians 4:4-8 contains methods of anxiety reduction. Lucado points out current and biblical examples of overly anxious people and shows how God provides a solution in the scriptures. If you only read the first chapter you will be confronted with how anxiety rules your life. But I challenge you to read the rest of the book for practical, spiritual solutions to anxiety in your life. Beware: this is not a book of therapy by any stretch of the imagination. It is a great way for Christians to reduce their anxiety, but if your anxiety is out of control, see a therapist. Together with the teachings of this book, you and your therapist can reduce your anxiety. At the time this review was written, this book is #10 on the ECPA Christian bestsellers list for September 2018.
Structural things I like about the book:
- Lucado has a discussion section at the end of the book containing excellent questions for each chapter. It would be useful for personal or group reflection.
Great quotes from the book:
- Anxiety and fear are cousins but not twins. Fear sees a threat, anxiety imagines one, p. 5.
- Citizens in other [non-western] countries ironically enjoy more tranquility. They experience one-fifth the anxiety levels of Americans, despite having fewer of the basic life necessities, p. 6.
- God calmed the fears of Isaiah, not by removing the problem, but by revealing his divine power and presence, p. 26.
- Guilt [followed by anxiety] sucks the life out of our souls. Grace restores it, p. 41.
- The contagiously calm person is the one who reminds others, “God is in control”, p. 69.
- As you sense anxiety welling up inside you, cast it in the direction of Christ. Do so specifically and immediately, p. 86.
- Treat each anxious thought with a grateful one, and prepare yourself for a new day of joy, p. 99.
- You can lose it all, only to discover that you haven’t. God has been there all along, p. 112.
- Satan is the master of deceit. But he is not the master of your mind. You have a power he cannot defeat. You have God on your side, p. 122.
- Don’t enhance your anxiety with the feat of not fulfilling them [lists of things to do]. Your goal is not to know every detail of the future. Your goal is to hold the hand of the One who does and never, ever let go, p. 137.