Winning The War Within: The Journey To Healing And Wholeness, by Jason Vallotton with Kris Vallotton
[Note: This book was provided free of charge by Chosen Books in exchange for an honest book review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.]
This book presents its reader with a bit of an enigma. On the one hand, the author has a great deal that is worthwhile to say about the healing and wholeness that people can experience even after rather traumatic and unpleasant aspects of their life. Yet this is a book that is also very coy about a great deal. This is a book whose emotional resonance depends on the credibility of the author as someone who can speak of healing and wholeness, and yet when the author speaks about his divorce, he does so in a way that seems to be a cop out and that does not go into the soul searching about the author’s own weaknesses and failures that led to the rupture with his wife. To be sure, he may not have been even mostly to blame, but the sort of breakup he describes is one that does not happen without there being some substantial failures on his part, and this book does not appear to be owning up to those.
This book of a bit more than 200 pages begins with a foreword by Heidi Baker as well as an introduction and a preface that states that Kris Vallotton only wrote the frame of the story along with some comments while his son Jason wrote the majority of the material within the middle. The book begins with a discussion of Little House On The Prairie (1) and then a discussion of what is on our God spot and how to put God back in His proper place (2). The author then speaks about the issue of justice by discussing the breakup of his marriage (3), as well as an exploration of the precious fruit of hard times (4). The author shares his thoughts about unlocking the inner man (5) as well as the way that we need to deal with the pain of our lives (6). This leads to a discussion of the power of forgiveness (7) as well as the contrast between true and counterfeit love (8). The author then discusses red-flags and self-awareness (9) as well as the importance of intimacy (10). Finally, the book ends with a discussion of the new standard that God has for restoration (11) as well as the final frontier of hope.
Whatever one feels about the author and his religious beliefs and practices, and there has been a fair amount of criticism of both this book does deal with very important topics. It is vitally important that we recognize the importance of forgiveness and mercy in our lives. Given the sort of world that we live in, we will have dings and bruises as a result of the experiences we have. And a great many people fail to live the best life that is possible to them because of the baggage of resentment and wounds that they carry with them. Even if you are considerably hostile towards anything that reeks of the false prosperity gospel, it is clear that a lot of failure comes from our failure to forgive and to let God handle the wrongs we have suffered and not to let them be a burden upon our hearts and minds and relationships. If the author’s testimony is not as vulnerable as he would think it to be, this work is still one that deals with an important subject in a thoughtful and worthwhile way. A lot of people are going to be able to relate to the subject material and the author deals with it well.