"Alive Again is designed to guide you to think biblically about your current struggles and equip you with God's tools to heal from emotional damage. These tools are reliance on Christ for salvation, Scripture as the basis of faith, and recognizing that lasting change is the result of the power of God, the grace of Christ and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit."
We are imperfect people who live in an imperfect world. Having our feelings hurt is a part of the process. Being able to live a lifestyle of forgiveness is not always easy. That is why we need the Bible. This book, Alive Again: Finding Healing in Forgiveness by Sarah K. Howley focuses on what the Bible has to say about this important topic.
While this book also contains relevant real life examples of situations that require forgiveness, that is not where the author dwells. I appreciate that. It would be too easy to focus on those situations. We would dismiss the scenarios as being harder or easier or completely different than what we are dealing with in our lives. Instead the author gives examples from the Bible on ways that forgiveness was demonstrated properly and also improperly.
"Forgiveness is releasing our feelings about an offense and offender to God so that God can heal us of the hurt and injuries sustained in the offense."
Ultimately forgiveness is between us and God. The author points us how unforgiveness hurts us far more than the one who did the wrong. If we cannot forgive or do not want to forgive, we can and should pray to ask for God’s help.
Topics covered in this book include what forgiveness is and isn’t. The part that impacted me the most personally was the chapter on hidden hurts. Sometimes how I react to someone may indicate that I am holding on to a grievance or wrong instead of forgiving and letting go.
Reconciliation is also addressed. The author emphasizes that forgiveness and reconciliation are completely separate. The first is necessary, but the second may not be possible. Yet since God wants us to be at peace with others and we are unable to avoid certain people forever, reconciling with others is highly encouraged.
I appreciated how many times the Bible is referenced. From my perspective, this book is theologically sound. This is a title that I will continue to reference and recommend to others.
Disclaimer: I did receive a complimentary copy of this book from the editor. This did not in any way influence my opinions on the book. I would highly recommend it, no matter how I read the book.