Sunday, August 26, 2012

Book Review: Perfect Lies

Over the past month, I've been reading Perfect Lies by Jennifer Crow.  One of the things I seriously appreciate about this book is how transparent Jennifer is about her depression and physical problems -- and her journey to recovery.

From the publisher:
Are your innermost thoughts robbing you of health and happiness? Jennifer Crow knows what that’s like. She always tried to do everything right—so she was shocked when her seemingly perfect life began to fall apart. Diagnosed with a dozen chronic health issues, she entered a deep depression and spiritual crisis. And as everything unraveled, Jennifer began to see how the perfect lies she’d told herself—lies like “I must prove myself because my worth depends on what I do” and “I must gain the acceptance of others because their opinion matters most”—were literally crippling her body, mind, and soul.

In Perfect Lies, Jennifer reveals nine key lies that held her back, walks us through her journey of miraculous recovery, and shares practical techniques for overcoming these same lies in our own lives and finding true freedom instead.
Jennifer starts the book by describing her life at the point where everything was falling apart.  She talks about how this impacted her and her family, and then talks about starting the road to recovery by countering nine "perfect" lies.

The bulk of the book consists of a chapter for each of these nine lies.  In each chapter, Jennifer starts by giving personal background on her experience with a particular lie, and further details are woven throughout the remainder of the chapter.  She talks about the emotions that go with a particular like, and she asks some questions to help you to figure out if this lie is an issue in your life.  Chances are, it is at least to some extent.  She talks about how to counter the lie, between scripture, "picture prayer," and meditative prayer.  The chapters end with statements to ponder and scripture to ponder.

If the meditative prayer idea bothers you, I'd highly recommend you skip to the final chapter of the book, "Questions and answers about Christian meditative prayer," which contains a lot of good information on what she means when she discusses meditative prayer.

I had more issues with the picture prayer idea.  Not that I think there is anything wrong with it, per se.  I just have never gotten anything out of any kind of visualization exercise I've ever been asked to do.  Ever.  The visualizations have you doing things like picturing the first time you can remember feeling guilty, and then taking time to visualize where Jesus was in that scene and what he was doing.

I just can't do it.  I could probably explain situations like this... but I have a difficult time creating images in my mind and then visualizing forgiveness, or visualizing how Jesus was forgiving other people involved too.

Regardless of my feelings of inadequacy in these picture prayer exercises, I did find a lot to think about, and I do think she really did hit on nine lies that are pretty universal.

Perfect Lie #5: I am a target.  That one particularly hit me.  I've been joking lately along the, "Just because I'm paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get me" lines.  I read through this chapter and thought that this is the one I need to start with.

This is not a book to read quickly.

Disclaimer:   I received this book for free from Tyndale House Publishers.  No other compensation was received.  The fact that I received a complimentary product does not guarantee a favorable review.

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