Reviewed by Chika Anene
In his book Spiritual Courage, Pastor Steve Humphrey takes the reader on a journey through topics such as rage, fear, and anxiety, addressing what factors are likely to cause these emotions to erupt and providing guidance on how to deal with them.
With personal life demonstrations, as well as biblical, philosophical, and psychological references, Pastor Humphrey explores the ways in which emotion controls us and the
ways in which we can take control. In addition to being an earnest look at the state of the modern church and its struggle to integrate in a rapidly changing society, it offers practical solutions and statistics to show readers how to lead a faith-filled life with peace and contentment.
In today’s society, where, as the author describes, “the culture is changing more rapidly than ever,” it’s common to become stressed and frustrated, and these emotions can cause people to snap. Some may even reach a point they don’t want to, ultimately causing others harm. But these reactions are counterproductive, and they are causing the issues that trigger them to become even worse.
“We are much more possessive of our church homes than we realize. This makes change more threatening and difficult conversations much more heated at church.”
Spiritual Courage is one of those books that I thought I had figured out, but then it completely surprised me. It opens sounding somewhat similar to many other Christian books I’ve read, giving me the impression that it, too, believes that Christians are misjudged and only want the good of humanity. But Humphrey stands out quickly by directing us toward the church’s flaws and discussing why it is that membership is on a fast decline. Once these comments cross the page, he has my attention.
Humphrey speaks about how having pride often blinds the individual, preventing them from seeing their own fault in various issues. He also mentions how many Christians allow themselves to be overcome by their emotion that they act irrationally in the face of argument or disagreement. The author does a good job of offering helpful solutions for avoiding outbursts, and he asks individuals to take an honest look at their anger and to understand its role in future reactions.
This self-help style book is both for the thoughtful Christian and anyone on the hunt for how to ride on the waves of our ever-changing society instead of drowning in them. In no way imposing or overwhelming, it’s a book that speaks honestly and genuinely about a topic that Christians should be grappling with. To me, it’s a sign of good things to come, of Christianity’s willingness to adapt and grow. It’s changed my perspective on a number of things, and if you’re open to it, it might just change yours too.
“Be the change you want to see.” This famous quote well describes the sentiment that Pastor Steve Humphrey proposes in Spiritual Courage: How to Find Strength and Happiness. This book emphasizes ways that individual Christians can transform their own personalities into something that is more in line with Biblical ideals. The bulk of the book focuses on the seven virtues, which are essentially the opposite qualities of the more notorious seven deadly sins. By means of personal experiences and impactful interchanges, Humphrey shows that you can become a more happy and content person by developing spiritual discipline.
So often, Chrisitianity is disparaged in mainstream media and, perhaps as a result, overly aggrandized by members of the Church. Thus, reading Humphrey’s refreshingly honest assessment of the problems within the Church in this book’s introduction is endearing, and it helps readers to both relate to the author and also develop a desire to change. Similarly, throughout the book Humphrey shares candid examples of his own faults and his road to improvement, helping readers to see that they aren’t alone in the way that they feel. Complementing the use of scripture, Spiritual Courage subtly employs psychological processes to assist readers to effect authentic changes in their viewpoints, as opposed to simply trying to bury their emotions. Whether you are looking to improve the reputation of your congregation or are seeking to mold your own disposition into one that is more Christ-like, Pastor Steve Humphrey offers a reasonable and approachable program for success. Spiritual Courage provides a powerful, practical message that can truly benefit anyone and everyone.