Wholeness: Changing How We Think About Healing by Christy Wimber

As a practicing Christian, I like to read Christian literature to help with the growth of my faith and I am very lucky that my church has it’s own book club to help me with this. In May, we read and met to discuss the modern-classic, More Than A Carpenter by Josh & Sean McDowell. Next up to read was Wholeness: Changing How We Think About Healing by Christy Wimber, with Katherine Welby-Roberts.

“Jesus said over and over that He came for the sick, the broken, the oppressed, depressed, those caught in chains.”

So the Bible teaches us and Jesus healed them. In turn the Church teaches us to pray and we will be healed, but what happens when we aren’t? Is it because we’re sinful? Is it because we don’t have enough faith? These and more difficult questions Wimber explores in Wholeness, by discussing and giving insight into the tricky areas of mental ill health, addiction, long-term illness and disabilities.

“He came for us. Each person, as well as every part of who we are, body, soul and spirit, matters to God. And if it matters to God, it must matter to us.”

Even Saint Paul himself was plagued by a lifelong pain in his side, which he described as his thorn. Did he lack faith? Or is the Church looking at healing in the wrong way: focusing only on the physical and visible type of healing, instead of the whole mind, body and soul healing that God can give us even in our suffering. Something even more precedent considering the changes in our world and the different struggles people face. Maybe it is time to look at what, as a Church, we offer for those suffering.

That’s where Katherine Welby-Roberts, who has for many years suffered with depression, anxiety and chronic fatigue, shares her experience. While I had a lot of sympathy for Katherine, I found her section quite negative, especially when she says she doesn’t want people to ask, “Can I pray for you?”. Perhaps it hasn’t worked for her before, but part of me feels it can’t harm, and I know there is comfort to be taken from just the fact that someone is thinking and praying about you. Although I thought it was good when she explained how it would be appreciated if more people asked what else they could do help.

Fortunately, I found Wimber’s chapters more positive and I really agreed with her idea that, like the early Church, we should simply be offering a safe place in order to witness people’s struggles (not pretend we’re all perfect and have no problems), so that we may be able to love, care for and pray and minister to each other more effectively. My only niggle would be there is quite a bit of repetition as Wimber emphasises what she means by ‘wholeness’.

However overall Wholeness was a helpful read for me and many of our group’s members, who suffer with either mental ill health, addiction or long-term illness, and it led to a challenging and honest discussion in our Zoom meeting. Good read.

Now I’d love to hear from you: What do you think? Have you read this? Or have you read any of Christy Wimber’s other books?

8 thoughts on “Wholeness: Changing How We Think About Healing by Christy Wimber

  1. As one who deals with “a thorn in my side”, I’ll keep this book in mind. It sounds like it has some very good points. If someone wants to pray for me, I always welcome it. I’ve learned from experience that often the one doing the praying gains as much as the one prayed for! We all need that connection with God.

    1. When you have chance to read this, I really hope you find it helpful and inspiring for your ‘thorn’. And you’re right: prayer often helps the one praying as well as well as the person their praying for. 🙂

  2. Not something that I would read (i’m all about the fiction as you know), but if this helped to promote well-being and discussion in your group than that’s excellent.
    Lynn 😀

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