Edward Craven encourages readers to choose a life path based on the biblical Fruits of the Spirit, in this devotional-style book for self-reflection and spiritual growth.
As a licensed professional counselor in Atlanta, Georgia, Craven has firsthand experience helping others overcome struggles that hinder a peaceful, productive life. In this brief look at issues like self-control, greed, envy, joy, anger, love, pride and more, Craven uses simple analogies, personal stories, and Bible scriptures to point readers in the right direction for success.
For example, he admits that “there have been times in my life when I used food to medicate disappointment or unpleasant feelings.” Craven explains that gluttony, like other addictions, “can take over a person’s life and cause the person to be selfish and self-centered.” Craven’s kind, understanding tone encourages readers to “seek a healthy balance between self-focus and other focus” to overcome this and other issues.
Throughout, Craven tends to state the obvious rather than offer new, thought-provoking information. For instance, in his chapter on faithfulness, Craven states, “Family members, relatives, friends and colleagues are important human relationships”; when discussing patience, he writes, “Patience is valuable in dealing with our fellow human beings and in dealing with challenging situations.”
At each chapter’s end, Craven includes several blank, lined pages for readers to “reflect on how the chapter affected you.” He doesn’t offer questions to guide responses, just pages of blank lines following extremely brief chapters. This gives the book a sparse, rudderless feel.
Additionally, although Craven’s writing is clear and free from glaring grammatical or typographical issues, his repeated use of the phrase “human beings” feels odd, as if he’s forcing a scholarly tone when a more natural approach would have been more relatable.
Most adult readers won’t find anything fresh or useful here. However, young adults and new Christians unfamiliar with these topics might find his contribution a springboard to further self-improvement education.
Also available in hardcover, ebook and audio book.