(Review) A Small Book About A Big Problem: Meditations On Anger, Patience, And Peace by Edward T. Welch


Publisher and Publication Date: New Growth Press. September 27, 2017.
Genre: Christian nonfiction. Anger.
Pages: 186.
Source: Complimentary copy from New Growth Press for this review. I was not required to leave a positive review.
Rating: Excellent.

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Link at New Growth Press to read more info: A Small Book About A Big Problem.
To read a sample of the book (the first 7 pages): A Small Book About A Big Problem.

About The Author:
Edward T. Welch, M.Div., Ph.D., is a licensed psychologist and faculty member at the Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation (CCEF). He earned a Ph.D. in counseling (neuropsychology) from the University of Utah and has a Master of Divinity degree from Biblical Theological Seminary. Ed has been counseling for over thirty years and has written extensively on the topics of depression, fear, and addictions.
Ed Welch’s biblical counseling books include Shame Interrupted; When People Are Big and God Is Small; Addictions: A Banquet in the GraveDepression: A Stubborn DarknessCrossroads: A Step-by-Step Guide Away from AddictionRunning Scared: Fear, Worry, and the God of Rest; and When I Am Afraid: A Step-by-Step Guide Away from Fear and Anxiety.

*This summary is from the information page at New Growth Press.
“How many times today have you been irritated? Frustrated? While you might not think about it often, if you look closely at any day most everyone can find anger in their actions and attitudes. Something spills or goes missing, we get stuck in traffic or someone cuts us off on the road, or we feel like the people we live and work with are only making our lives more difficult. And while no one wants to get angry, what happens when our irritations and frustrations rise yet again?
Anger is so common—yet it also hurts. It not only leaves a mark on us, but it also leaves a marks on others. The wounds we inflict on ourselves and others because of anger—loss of intimacy, trust, security, and enjoyment in our closest relationships—give us compelling reasons to look closely at our anger and think carefully about how to grow in peace and patience.
But if you, like many others, have just gotten irritated for the umpteenth time today, you might wonder if change is possible. Can anyone truly find peace? The answer is yes, but you will need a plan. Biblical counselor and psychologist Ed Welch invites readers to take a fifty-day journey that unpacks anger while encouraging and teaching readers to respond with patience to life’s difficulties. Readers will also be introduced to Jesus, the key to any plan for change. Known as the Prince of Peace, he is the only one who can empower his people to grow in patience, peace, and wholeness.
Provides short, daily meditations that encourage readers to look carefully at how their anger affects them and others.
The fifty-day reading plan gives ample time for readers to unpack the underlying causes of irritation and frustration and develop a Spirit-led plan for growth.
Offers encouragement and helps readers to develop the skills to deal with the universal problem of anger and respond with more patience to life’s difficulties
Christ-centered teachings give readers hope that they can change not based on their own efforts, but through the work of Jesus and his indwelling Spirit.
A useful tool for pastors, counselors, and lay helpers who are working with people who struggle with a short fuse.
What Is the Product for?
A Small Book about a Big Problem offers hope for change to people struggling with irritation and frustration and its effects on themselves and others. With fifty short, daily meditations, readers are provided with an easy-to-follow plan that gives them enough time to unpack the underlying causes of their irritation and frustration, as well as encouragement and skills to respond with more patience and peace to life’s difficulties. Centered around Christ, the work and teachings of Jesus give readers hope they can change not through their own actions, but through the life and spirit of the Prince of Peace.
Who Is the Product for?
While anger is a universal issue that everyone deals with, A Small Book about a Big Problem is written for people who recognize the destruction anger is causing to their lives and relationships, but do not know how to change. With fifty short, daily meditations that serve as a plan to deal with anger and its underlying causes, biblical counselor Ed Welch also provides readers with encouragement and skills to respond to life’s difficulties with more patience. Also a useful tool for pastors, counselors, family, and friends of people dealing with anger issues, this book offers hope through the life and work of Jesus that change can happen and peace is possible.”

My Thoughts:
My dad had a big problem with anger. Anger was always just below the surface. Even if he had a smile on his face, anger could be seen in his eyes. As a little girl, anger scared me, because I lived in a house with a tyrant. The rest of my family and I walked on egg shells. When dad questioned us we never gave the “right” answer, we gave the answer dad wanted us to give, which was the answer that hopefully would not make him more angry. I have a few memories where dad was relaxed and happy. His laugh was infectious. In Dad’s final years, I cared for him and we lived together. He was a sweetheart. He had a twinkle in his eye. I’m thankful the final years with dad covered the hard years of my childhood.
In growing older, I’m learning about why people act the way they do, and more importantly how I should react. One of the things I don’t think I’ll ever understand is why some people just want to stay angry. It doesn’t matter what I say or do they want to be angry and stay angry; and further, they want me to be angry and fight with them. Dealing with difficult people in my life is what led me to want to read and review: A Small Book About A Big Problem. Reading the book will not change difficult people, but it will help me to know how to handle certain situations.

To be angry is to destroy. Page 1.

What I love about the book:

1. 50 bite size chapters. Small enough to fit in a purse or backpack. Small enough to not be intimidating. Small enough to digest its content.
2. The size is small; the content is huge.
3. The first chapter that stood out to me is chapter 6: “The Many Faces of Anger.” I never realized “eye-rolling, gossiping, and grumbling” are anger behaviors. These descriptions fall under “covert anger.” “Cold anger” is the “silent treatment, withdrawal, and indifference.” “Hot anger” is “jealousy, wrath, war, murder, quarrels, rage, and attacks.” Welch encourages defining “words that fit your anger and listen to what you are really saying.” For example, when gossiping we are essentially judging.
4. Chapter 7 encourages wisdom: “Run toward Wisdom.” I love love love this chapter! Humility is a big theme. Welch states that humility is not what we want to do. “Instead, it is the foundation for all wisdom.” Page 26.
5. Chapter 15 and 16 showed me how Jesus acted when angry, and why He acted angry, and it showed me times when He could have acted angry and was not. “He never got angry because his personal desires were violated. Ever.” Page 54.
6. Chapter 23 encourages speaking to the Lord about our anger. “You must speak to Him.” Page 83.
7. In chapter 26, we must understand “our cancelled debt and His great love.” Page 97. When we understand the debt He paid, we will “see our angry reactions as intolerable.” Page 97.
8. In the last chapter, we are given the commission to “build up and strengthen the people God puts before us…”

Favorite quotes:

If we think we are keeping our anger controlled and private, we are not. Anger will assert itself. It refuses to be contained. If anger is in our hearts, it has our hearts. It will come out of our mouths, and it will hurt others. Page 24.

Anger looks down from the judge’s perch; wisdom comes down from those heights and looks up from below. Humility captures it. Humility looks beyond ourselves and asks about others. Whereas anger destroys, humility builds up. It has the best interests of others in mind. Page 25.

The course of our lives always travels in one of two directions, either toward wisdom or toward foolishness. The path toward foolishness is easy. All you have to do is follow your desires. But anger is on that path. Page 33.

Our task is to understand our cancelled debt and his great love, both of which will always overreach the boundaries of our imagination. Then, and only then, will we see our angry reactions as intolerable. Page 97.




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