Saturday, February 7, 2009

The Angry Smile by Jody E. Long, Nicholas J. Long and Signe Whitson



Maybe you know someone who never allows his or her true feelings to show for fear of rejection or another reason. Maybe that person is you. Either way, reading the newest edition of Jody and Nicholas' book may help.

"The Angry Smile" is an in depth examination of passive-aggressive behavior in a multitude of settings. I realize that sometimes we use words like passive-aggressive to excuse bad behavior, but we need to not throw the baby out with the bath water.

As believers, we've been sold a lie that we have to be the best example of Christian behavior we can be, never letting our emotions get the best of us. This is true, but not to the point we find ourselves living a lie.

And I realize we are overcomers through Christ Jesus, but let's be honest--sometimes we hide how we feel instead of release and conquering those feelings. When someone asks you on a Sunday how you're doing and you shoot them an automatic "I'm fine, praise God"...something unhealthy is going on.

The authors go into great detail defining passive-aggressive behavior in part one of their book, then in part two they give some identifying keys. I have to admit, I recognized myself and some family members in these pages.

The third section of the book gives help on changing passive-aggressive behavior. The advice given is sound, and I would combine it with a trusting faith in Christ. Psychology alone cannot help what is broken in the human soul--only God can fix us.

But even once we've accepted Him as Lord and Savior, we still live in sin-filled bodies that don't always do what is right. When science and salvation combine, much healing occurs.

My only issue with the book is its text book reading style. "The Angry Smile" is perfect for a psychology course, but most people are just looking for advice, not a course in changing behavior.

What helps are the concrete examples of conversations or behaviors the authors use to illustrate their terminology. While I don't think you can sit down and read this book straight through, you can find it helpful as a guide out of the behavior you may be stuck in.

Personally, I'm thankful this book is in my collection. And I hope to implement some of the changes in my own life, praying I can set an example of healthy emotions for my family.

So read the Scriptures and take a peek at "The Angry Smile". Let Jesus set you free, and let the counsel you find it this book do a work in your life. I'm giving "The Angry Smile" three out of five bookmarks, wishing the language used was a bit easier to understand...with a genuine happy face charm to encourage those who long for a real smile.

Happy Reading!

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1 comment:

padontstandforpaloalto said...

Thank you for your review of this book. I just added it last week to my recommended reading list on my blog. Glad to find you found it helpful, even if it is "textbook reading".