I have never taught material that so resonated with people. After the first lesson, numerous people order the book for themselves. It hits home. It’s real.
I am teaching this in three different formats this summer. I’m leading my church’s Wednesday night adult class for 13 weeks, teaching an adult class at the annual Family Camp we attend, and teens, at a National youth camp. The two camps are each a week long. So it was definitely a challenge, using the same material to teach for 4 days as well as over the whole summer…to teach adults and teens.
Here’s the publisher’s description of the book:
As standards of conduct continue to erode in our shock-proof world, we must fight the soul pollution threatening our health, our faith, and our witness to others. Without even knowing it, people willingly inhale second-hand toxins poisoning their relationship with God and stunting their spiritual growth.
Soul Detox examines the toxins that assault us daily including: toxic influences, toxic emotions, and toxic behaviors.
By examining the toxins that assault us daily, this book offers the ultimate spiritual intervention with ways to remain clean, pure, and focused on the standard of God’s holiness.
Finding the Toxins
The author gives an analogy that sets the tone for the book. He describes how his parents did everything to take care of him as a child. They made sure he wore a seatbelt, looked both ways before crossing a street, and ate healthy foods. But they also smoked, and were unknowingly poisoning him with secondhand smoke (which wasn’t known to be dangerous yet). He compares this to the toxins that we may be affected by without even realizing it. He also describes how, growing up in a smoky home, he didn’t notice the smell. But when he went away to college, living in non-smoking buildings, coming home was a striking difference. Spiritual growth is like that too, isn’t it? Until we remove ourselves from a toxic influence we often don’t recognize its stench.
This book is striking a cord with people everywhere. It’s opening our eyes to ways that we think, speak, and behave that are not leading us on the best path God has for us. It makes us look at what we are consuming and ask, “Am I being the best steward of what He’s given me?”
You see, when God created you, He had the very best version of you in mind.
I’ve read a lot of books on spiritual growth…some very good ones. I’d put Soul Detox in the top five without question. It’s an easy read, but if you’re up for it, leads you into some deep places of self-examination.
The author leads us to really dig in to thinking about some challenging things, without drawing a random “line” of what is appropriate or not. For example, he’s not going to give you a list of movies that are ok with God for you to watch. But he also doesn’t let you get away with saying, “Yeah, that’s a tough topic…” and never really thinking about it.
The book doesn’t just examine the cultural influences we take in. It looks at our words, emotions, and thought patterns that are damaging. It points our eyes to ourselves, making us aware of the veil of self-deception that we all are under at times.
I liked this author’s style so much that I picked up another one of his books, that my husband and I have been going through together. From This Day Forward: Five Commitments to Fail-Proof Your Marriage. We’ve only just started it, but so far he’s spot on. For some time now, we’ve tried to always have a book that we are going through together. We find it keeps us connected and strengthens our marriage. This one has been a great conversation starter.
When I teach from a book, I do my best to avoid just reading from the book as much as possible. To prepare, I go through the book, taking notes on points that I think are important to pass on. I write down phrases from the text, summarize, add my own thoughts, and Bible verses that support an idea. If I find a “chunk” I think is important to read to a class, I write down the page number in my notes so I can refer to it while teaching.
If you are looking for a spiritually invigorating book to read, check this one out. If you need material for a class, this is for you.
My advice if you get it: take the time to think through what is discussed. It’s life changing stuff if you actually do it.
© Susan Landry, 2016--Used by permission. Originally published: here.
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