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Take Control of What's Controlling You: A Guide to Personal Freedom

Take Control of What's Controlling You: A Guide to Personal Freedom

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Take Control of What's Controlling You: A Guide to Personal Freedom

3/5 (2 valutazioni)
87 pagine
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Oct 8, 2006


We've all known someone who just can't seem to break free of a cycle of self-defeating and destructive behavior based on personal appetites that are out of control. Or perhaps we've suffered the consequences, big or small, of addictive behavior in our own lives.  Stephen Arterburn offers insight and hope for anyone whose life has spun out of control due to addictions. His revolutionary and refreshing approach to recovery positively recognizes and affirms that our capacity to enjoy and savor life is a gift from God that must be fed for us to be healthy. From there, he helps readers identify and understand what personal needs they are really seeking to fulfill through their problematic behaviors, and lays out a proven step-by-step plan that enables them to reclaim control of their relationships, career, personal happiness-and life.

Oct 8, 2006

Informazioni sull'autore

Stephen Arterburn is a New York Times bestselling author with more than eight million books in print. He most recently toured with Women of Faith, which he founded in 1995. Arterburn founded New Life Treatment Centers as a company providing Christian counseling and treatment in secular psychiatric hospitals. He also began “New Life Ministries”, producing the number-one Christian counseling radio talk show, New Life Live, with an audience of more than three million. He and his wife Misty live near Indianapolis.  

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Take Control of What's Controlling You - Stephen Arterburn



A Guide to Personal Freedom



A Guide to Personal Freedom

Stephen Arterburn

and Debra Cherry

© 2006 by Stephen Arterburn

All rights reserved. No portion of this book may be reproduced, storied in retrieval system, or transmitted in any for or by an means—electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording, or any other—except for brief quotations in printed reviews, without the prior written permission of the publisher.

Published in Nashville, Tennessee, by Thomas Nelson. Thomas Nelson is a registered trademark of Thomas Nelson, Inc.

Stephen Arterburn published in association with Alive Communications, 7680 Goddard Street, Suite 200, Colorado Springs, Colorado 80920.

Debra Cherry published in association with Yates & Yates, LLP, Literary Agents, Orange, California.

Cover Design: The Designworks Group

Interior Design: Kimberly Sagmiller,

Thomas Nelson, Inc., titles may be purchased in bulk for educational, business, fund-raising, or sales promotional use. For information, please e-mail

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. NIV®. ©1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.

ISBN 978-1-5914-5478-6


Introduction: Yes, You Can Take Control!

1. Enjoy Life to the Fullest

2. Affirm That Appetites Are a Good Thing

3. Avoid Substitutes for What You Really Want

4. Jumpstart the Change Process

5. Be Aware of Appetite Triggers

6. Find Satisfaction in All the Right Places

7. Embrace a New Power Source for Life

8. Work toward Healthy Balance

9. Cultivate a Divine Appetite

10. Discover God’s Best for Your Life

Conclusion: A Note to the Still-Frustrated


Yes, You Can Take Control!

Alcohol. Power. Money. Food. Sex. Shopping. Gambling. All are capable of causing normal appetites to become full-blown addictions. More than twenty-five years ago, I (Steve) started working with people whose appetites were out of control. Desire had literally taken over and caused ruin in their lives.

I have been exactly where they were. I remember what life was like out of control and how I was barely hopeful of a life beyond mere survival. My first struggle was with food. Enough was never enough. My favorite women were Sara Lee, Little Debbie, Aunt Jemima, and Mrs. Butterworth. Given a chance, I would have become a lover to any of them. And that was my other problem appetite. Sex became a soothing, satisfying fix for me. I was promiscuous and loved to be loved. But no woman could fill the emptiness I felt inside. Not even the baby I created with one filled that void. And the subsequent abortion I paid for intensified the appetites of my heart.

Food and sex couldn’t heal what was wrong. So when I started working with people whose appetites were out of control, like mine, I was actually working for me. I met others who were on the road to recovery and regaining control of their lives. These successful people were learning how to be conquered by nothing because they were finding out how to crave nothing. Their humility and gratitude regarding their victory was intriguing and palpable. I wanted to be like them; I wanted to possess their wisdom and be in possession of myself.

So I set out on a journey to understand what I had to do to get my appetites under control. Along the way I learned something amazing: Every human being has an inborn desire to know God, but our personal and selfish wants get in the way. Our desire for knowledge of our Creator is taken hostage, and we find ourselves captured instead by appetites for foods, feelings, or experiences. We can identify with the words of the apostle Paul in Romans 7:15 and following: I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. . . . For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. . . . Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.

Paul is talking about sin in the theological sense. Adam and Eve’s desires were in perfect harmony with God and His creation. But with the Fall, sin came into the world and has ever since caused mankind’s appetites to become attached—and even enslaved—to various ungodly behaviors, material possessions, and even people.

When I fully understood this reality, I realized that my choices to satisfy my various problem appetites were symptomatic of my ongoing, willful rebelliousness against God. God gave me these appetites. I am supposed to live as He intended and to enjoy Him. However, when I let my appetites get out of balance and allowed them to take priority in my life, God became distant and my behavior less Christlike.

Before now you may not have given much thought to what drives your life and why certain behaviors seem out of control—or that there is a connection between your personal addictions and your walk with the Lord. If so, you are not alone. I am one such example. When I realized I couldn’t get my appetites under control on my own strength, I started down the road to healing. After I surrendered my considerable burdens to the God who created me and admitted that fixing myself was beyond my capabilities, God brought my appetites back under control.

Perhaps you are in the same place I was, unsure of how to begin a journey of healing from out-of-control appetites. If so, this is the book for you. This journey won’t be quick, and it won’t be easy. Change requires perseverance, even when our circumstances are painful and the journey takes a long time.

Think of this book as a roadmap for the journey to get your appetites and desires back on track. Your ten-chapter journey through these pages will lead you through ten life-liberating steps for taking control of the controlling

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