October 30, 2017

Spiritual Wisdom for a Happier Life

Mark W. Baker, PhD has done the seemingly impossible with Spiritual Wisdom for a Happier Life: How Your 8 Key Emotions Can Work for You. He took what can be a complicated and dry topic and explained it in clear, easy to understand language for everyone. 

When the book first arrived in the mail I cringed at its thickness...nearly 400 pages...and nearly groaned out loud at the thought of slogging through a bunch of psychological mumbo jumbo written in terms best understood by others in the same profession.  To my surprise, the chapters average only 3-4 pages in length so there's no room for droning on and on and Dr. Baker made it interesting. Each chapter contains an example case to illustrate his point and show that in all these areas, change and improvement is possible.

Another thing that sets this book apart from others is that Dr. Baker is also a theologian and he takes each psychological principle he shares and finds what the Bible has to say about it.  That is really something different from a professional in the field.

I loved how clearly each emotion and the components that make it up were explained and how there were so many examples.  I gained a lot of insight, not only into the behaviors of those around me, but also into the workings of my own emotions and how they influence me.  That produced a much greater understanding and compassion in my thinking.  There were many "a-ha" moments.

The one thing I would like to see, maybe in another book, is for Dr. Baker to give the reader some tools to work with.  In this book he clearly spells out what the problem is and says it must be changed or stopped for things to be different, but he doesn't give the reader any tools to help them switch gears in their thinking.  It's easy to say, "stop worrying" or "let go of anger" but much harder to put it into practice. A few tips on how exactly to do those things would be a welcome addition.

On the whole, this was a very good book and an easy, interesting read. I'd recommend it for anyone who may struggle with or have someone in their life who is feeling hurt, guilt, shame, anger, anxiety, sorrow, or fear to pick up the book as a starting place. At the very least you will see you are not alone in the things you are feeling and the ways that you react to those feelings.


  1. Thanks for the review, Stacy. It does sound like a good book for anyone struggling with emotions.

  2. I think this is a book I need to read - thanks for the review!


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