Healing for Damaged Emotions by David Seamands
Healing for Damaged Emotions by David Seamands is an excellent resource to help Christians deal with emotions that have been damaged. Seamands uses Matthew 8:17 and Romans 8:26-27 as the thesis for his book. He suggests from these verses that “infirmities” are damaged emotions.
After explaining the Biblical definition of damaged emotions, Seamands shares how to deal with damaged emotions. He explains that one may be spiritual, yet still have emotional problems inside. There are different kinds of damaged emotional people:
1. Sense of unworthiness
2. Perfectionist complex
Seamands suggests Biblical principles for healing these damaged emotions. For example, one must face the problem and accept responsibility in the matter. The person must also ask if they want to be healed. Yet, the greatest principle is forgiveness. The Holy Spirit is there and He can help a person heal from damaged emotions (James 4:3 Romans 8:26).
Seamands suggests two major causes for most emotional problems: the failure to understand and live out God’s grace and forgiveness, and the failure to give out that unconditional love, forgiveness, and grace to other people (including yourself). Seamands shares the three tests of forgiveness that help diagnose that problem: (1) the resentment test, (2) the responsibility test, and (3) the reminder and reaction test.
The Theology of Proper Self-Image and Self-Esteem
The author then contrasts the ways of Jesus and Satan with our emotions. Jesus completely understands how you feel and wants to help you. In contrast, Satan uses your low self-esteem as an emotional and psychological weapon to destroy you. Seamands explains the three components of a healthy self-image and the four sources of self-image. The theology of proper self-image and self-esteem come from Matthew 22:37-40. It was a triangle of love:
Love for God – Love for myself – Love for others
This proper triangle of love impacts marriage (Ephesians 5:28-29), as well as how I deal with others (Romans 12:3). Seamands shares 6 self-estimate questions which anyone can use to evaluate their self-esteem. He suggests that you can cooperate with the Holy Spirit in checking yourself when you belittle your self-esteem (Romans 12:2).
Seamands then focuses on how perfectionism can hurt one’s self-esteem. He lists six symptoms of perfectionism.He shows how the cure for perfectionism is God’s grace. You can’t get this prescription at the local pharmacy. You have to accept God’s love for yourself.
Seamands further explores the darker emotions of anger, resentment, and rage. He explains that happiness worldly and joy is heavenly. He shares the challenge of depression. Depression (which Seamands defines as an emotion) is when you hold anger and refuse to forgive people who have authority over you. He shares tips on how to deal with depression.
As a pastor, I found that this book would be very helpful in counseling people who have difficult emotional challenges, especially self-esteem. While not a clinical book, it is a useful resource. Seamands supplements his insights with stories and illustrations from real-life examples. I would recommend this book for people who are looking for a textbook to help deal with emotions.
Similar books include:
Reflections about emotions:
Sermons about emotions: