Book Review: A Small Book About A Big Problem

I don’t tend to think of myself as an angry person. I don’t burst out in yelling and my face rarely, if ever, turns red when I don’t get my way. So, when I picked up A Small Book About a Big Problem by Edward T. Welch, I was anticipating a read I would recommend to others who struggle with this problem. What I encountered was a diagnostic of my own anger problem. A Small Book About A Big Problem was a book for me too!

In 50 short meditations, Counselor Welch does the work of a spiritual surgeon. He first sits us down and lays out the depth of the problem. If anyone thinks they are exempt, the meditation for Day 6 on the many faces of anger will reveal we all face this problem in some manner. Before he takes us back for surgery, we are given hope. Although this problem exists, there is a solution. The meditation for Day 7 starts the patient down the path of wisdom in fighting anger and finding patience and peace. The theme of humility throughout this book makes clear this work is not an easy task. The scalpel of the gospel will strike us because it will expose us and our need for the Healer, Jesus Christ. Unless one has confessed their sin to God and professed faith in Christ, they will not be able to follow on what Welch has for them. Even for the Christian, these short meditations will present a challenge. It cannot be done apart from the empowering and enabling work of the Holy Spirit. As Dr. Welch points us back to Scripture, we not only see our hearts exposed but we find hope in the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.

A Small Book About A Big Problem: Meditations on Anger, Patience, and Peace by Edward T. Welch lives up to its title. The strategy of the book is to read one meditation each day for 50 days, to interact and engage with the questions posed, and to begin sharing this conversation with someone else (Welch 4). While I do wish the book would have addressed more elaborately what righteous anger looks like (although, as the book points out, most of the time our anger is unrighteous), Dr. Welch performs a thorough work, examining the problem, exposing each one’s heart, and encouraging transformation in the gospel. I recommend A Small Book About A Big Problem to anyone who knows they have an anger problem and to anyone who believes they don’t.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Litfuse Publicity Group for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own and are my honest review of the book.

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