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ss triple helix - summer 2016,  The worry book

The worry book

Finding a path to freedom
Will van der Hart and Rob Waller

IVP, 2011, £9.99 Pb 188pp, ISBN 978184474543
Reviewed by Alex Bunn, CMF Student Staffworker

Jesus told us not to worry. But many Christians do, and then feel guilty as well. This excellent book offers practical tips for sufferers. Written by a sympathetic pastor and psychiatrist, it's full of helpful illustrations and biblical application. For instance, do you recognise the rocking chair of worry, which goes nowhere, but seems preferable to an unpalatable task?

They distinguish two types of worry from Matthew 6:34; the solvable problems of today, and the free floating 'what ifs' of tomorrow. Helpfully, they warn against guilt-inducing inner policing, 'taking captive' every thought (2 Corinthians 10:5). Instead they question the 'worry themes' that sustain anxiety, such as the false belief that excessive worry about family must be a sign of care.

Much worry arises from discomfort in uncertainty. Faith trusts in what God has provided and does not put God to the test. They emphasise retraining rather than instant healing, as we learn to trust a God who wants our spiritual muscles to grow.

Contemplation has been suspect in some Christian circles, but they give a helpful description of a practice to detach from negative thoughts, and 'give your entire attention to what God is doing right now' (Matt 6:34, The Message). A very readable and therapeutic book.

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