Friday, May 29, 2015

Words That Heal, by Michael Ross and Brian Doyle

I wanted to like this book a lot more than I did.  Michael Ross and Brian Doyle, veteran writers, have written Word That Heal: 40 Encouraging Stories Inspired by James 3:1-12.  FIrst of all, I think the subtitle is misleading.  It's not really "40 encouraging stories."  There are some stories.  But really it's "40 wide-ranging devotionals."  And they're not really "based on James 3:1-12."  They are based on a variety of scriptures, with an encouragement to follow the guidance of James 3:1-12 to harness the power of our words.

That said, Words That Heal can still be useful and encouraging.  The devotional readings cover church life, work life, family life, and community life.  Rather than just scripture and exhortation, each reading includes a challenge for a response.  The reader is encouraged to write healing words that he or she can speak, healing words he can speak to grow, and words to pray.  I like the fact that there is opportunity for reflection and response.

There are some nice tidbits in Words That Heal.  But despite the feature of the added response time, the readings themselves were, for the most part, pretty flat.  It's an OK devotional book, but not one I would heartily recommend.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the complimentary electronic review copy!

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