You know there is something holding you back from being the person that God intends you to be. We may think we’re different and unique when it comes to the toxins that are polluting our lives, but as Solomon reminds us, ‘there is nothing new under the sun’. A limited number of toxins: behaviors, emotions, and influences, raise their ugly heads and make us sicker than we realize.
Pastor Craig Groeschel in Soul Detox: Clean Living in a Contaminated World (Zondervan, 2012), encourages us to identify and treat the toxicity in our Christian lives. I enjoyed his conversational style of writing, and it wasn’t until late in the book that it hit me that I could have been listening to a series of sermons. The main point that I took away from this book is that as we are in the world, but not of it, it’s often hard to see how we are conforming to the world rather than to the image of Christ. We become conditioned to things that used to be off limits, and the example we set doesn’t glorify God. We forget how powerful words are, and unintentionally inflict deep pain on others, even as we suffer the pain of words spoken long ago by someone who has probably forgotten that he said them, and has no idea of the pain that those words are causing today.
Millennia ago, the religious leaders thought that they had it covered; they took the Ten Commandments and ‘clarified’ them by breaking them down into over 600 bits and pieces of things to do and not do. The problem is that in most cases they got so wrapped up in memorizing and obeying man’s rules that they had no time to experience the heart of God. Groeschel wisely points out that the toxins that affect us as individuals can and do spread into the church also. I was left with the sense that as we conform more to the world, and in doing so become less Christ-like, that in our churches we are becoming more and more religious: we demand that others act like the Christ-like person that we’re no longer interested in becoming.
Lots of scripture references help the reader in the quest to identify and treat the toxic reactions from behaviors, emotions, influences and religiosity that keep us from achieving our full potential.
I received an e-copy of this book in exchange for my review.