28 April 2016

Book Review: Wholeheartedness

Wholeheartedness: Busyness, Exhaustion, and Healing the Divided Self (2016) by Chuck DeGroat is the best non-fiction book I have read this year by far. (I have to say non-fiction because Andrew Peterson's Wingfeather Saga was also exceptionally good, but clearly different).

In Wholeheartedness, DeGroat explores how we too often live "divided" lives rather than the lives of wholeness we were created for. The typical Christian approach to the sense that something is not quite right is to do more and try harder all the while wondering what happened to the rest that Jesus promised. And we feel exhausted.

DeGroat takes a careful look at our dividedness, our failures, and our shame through the lenses of scriptural wisdom, psychology, neurobiology, and poetry to help us see, with greater clarity, God's shalom. On page 98, he wrote "those who are whole are ambassadors of God's shalom, of wholeness." In the final section of the book, he introduces us to how we might experience a growing wholeness. Here, I particularly appreciated his wisdom on union and communion.

Fans of such a broad range of authors such as Dan Siegel, Curt Thompson, Teresa of Avila, Gerard Manly Hopkins, Thomas Merton, and St Augustine will benefit deeply from this book. I have already eagerly recommended it to a patient along with Brene Brown's excellent Gift of Imperfection. Undoubtedly, this will be a book I will savor again and again.

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