When the Hurt Runs Deep – Kay Arthur
I picked this book up with great hope, both because I wanted it to speak to some personal situations and also because I had a friend I thought about loaning it to because she has suffered a deep hurt. It started out well, with the author sharing some of her personal story at the beginning, but after the first chapter, I began to feel as though I was being bludgeoned with a sermon rather than being offered practical help in dealing with deep hurts.
It is obvious that Ms. Arthur’s theology and mine have taken divergent paths. Her focus is on complete submission to the will of God—which it is possible to find in the Bible, a book she sees as inerrant and basically dictated by God. I find that perspective to be less than helpful and, in some situations, having the potential to be harmful to both the physical, emotional, and spiritual health of individuals. She does acknowledge that there may be times when someone needs to leave an abusive situation, but that awareness is only lightly touched on. Her primary focus is on staying in difficult situations, trusting in God to heal them.
There is little mention of the help that counselors can give in dealing with deep hurts. In fact, the occasional times they were mentioned, it was to indicate that specific counselors in specific situations hadn’t even opened a Bible during the counseling process. While I believe that the Bible can provide comfort and help, I think that depending on the Bible to find answers is a misuse of the scriptures.
As I read, I felt that each chapter basically said the same thing: (1) You may find yourself in a difficult situation where you have been hurt deeply. (2) God can heal that situation if you trust in God. (3) You can find God’s answers in the Bible, the actual words of God. (4) Submission to God’s will is the answer.
There were occasional nuggets of insight and information that I found helpful, but I did not find them worth wading through what I felt was an aggressive sermon that blamed all the world’s ills on an innate human sinfulness based on a literal reading of the Bible.
I’m glad that I did not purchase this book, but that it was provided free of charge from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group in exchange for this review.