We have all heard stories like Mary Johnson’s: in 1993, her son was murdered by her next-door neighbor. How could she forgive him?
Or we have heard of, or perhaps even shared in, Jillian’s struggle. “I can’t. I just don’t think I can forgive him,” she said in describing her marriage challenges. How could she forgive?
The honest truth is that forgiveness is hard. God’s forgiveness and love are the foundation of our relationship with him, through Christ’s blood. We know that we should forgive others, even up to 77 times. But it is hard. In Alive Again, Sarah acknowledges this difficult reality and uses scripture, anecdotes, and practical application to encourage us to let God’s power work healing through forgiveness.
Discover how to live abundantly in Christ through his forgiveness and forgiving others, as Sarah K. Howley helps you in:
- Understanding how unforgiveness binds us and impacts our relationships while forgiveness leads to abundant life….
Author Sarah Howley’s easy, conversational tone makes the tough topic of forgiveness feel possible. She tackles each aspect of forgiveness, healing, and reconciliation with sound Biblical reference, providing examples for modern day struggles.
The title Alive Again references the Parable of the Prodigal Son and his return home. Instead of being angry and resentful, the father forgives his son’s selfish and squandering lifestyle and forgives him instead. He says, “My son was once dead and is now alive again.” This theme of the well-known parable provides the firm foundation for forgiveness after being seriously wronged.
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Many people seem to struggle with the concept of forgiveness versus reconciliation. Jesus told us we need to forgive, but he never said we need to be a doormat. There’s a big distinction that Alive Again handles in depth and with clarity.
Ms. Howley recognizes that the concepts are easier to understand than to put into action or your heart. The tools included in the appendixes are helpful for readers to work through their individual situations and challenges. They include journal prompts, healing in forgiveness worksheet, and applicable scriptures.
Who would enjoy this book?
Most people have been hurt in at least one serious way. Some have been hurt in egregious ways. In any case, forgiveness is never easy, and the greater the offense, the greater the difficulty to forgive can be. This book is worthwhile for anyone who’s having a hard time getting past the hurt or whose life is in turmoil from being hurt. Forgiveness is a gift the hurting person chooses for their own peace of mind. Anyone who’s ready (and willing) to tackle the damage from being hurt would find help from this book.
How this book affected me.
I particularly appreciated the aspect of discerning whether you should reconcile with the offender. Should you allow him/her in your life again? How do you react when you can’t remove yourself from interacting with them, as you might experience within a family or work situation? Ms. Howley doesn’t pretend that each situation will result in a wonderful reconciliation. As such, I felt her practical tips for moving forward even when things aren’t fully reconciled would be particularly helpful for people trying to move past the hurt.
About the Author, Sarah K. Howley:
Sarah K. Howley is an author of Christian nonfiction for women. Her first book was a devotional journal, followed by I Am: An 8-session Study of John and Alive Again. Sarah prefers the authority of her Bible over the pieces of paper that name her a certified Christian counselor and holder of a master’s degree in education. She was born in Houston, Texas and has lived on four continents.
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The book reviews at Finding God Among Us focus on Christian books – adult and children, fiction and nonfiction. Our specialty is books on faith and new Christian book releases. We’re proud to be included in the Top 20 Christian Book Review Bloggers. I chose to read this book in exchange for my honest opinion.
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