40 Days to a Joy-Filled Life - Book Review

I have a history of being victimized and crippled by my own negative thoughts.  Over-thinking and allowing damaging self-talk affects how we live and the quality of life.  God knew this when He told us to take every thought captive, to renew our minds, and be thankful in all things.  But practicing thought control has not been an easy task for me.  However, after reading Tommy  Newberry’s 40 Days to a Joy-Filled Life, I have some tools to put into practice daily that will create a new habit in my thinking patterns.
The cute happy face on the cover of the book might give the notion that this is a fluffy positive-thinking book with little depth, but I was delightfully surprised that my first impression was wrong.  The book is a companion to The 4:8 Principle, which I read a couple years ago, but either one can certainly stand alone.  Basically, Newberry breaks down the same ideas in The 4:8 Principle into 40 short chapters of easily digestible chunks to help you absorb and exercise the concept of 4:8 thinking (based on Philippians 4:8 – Whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, praiseworthy, think on these things).
Each chapter provides a lesson followed by the “Activate 4:8” application, which includes a drill to think about the day’s principle in your life, and the “Extra Mile” assignment to exercise the day’s concept.  A handy “Make it Stick” illustrates a few words on a sticky note for you to write down and keep reminding yourself throughout the day to live it.  Each chapter ends in a prayer, so the book would be handy during your morning devotional time to mentally equip you for the day ahead.
Tommy Newberry proclaims that “though God’s grace doesn’t demand mental discipline, living a life of joyful excellence must be preceded by it” (page 83).  In this book, Newberry shows you how to:
·         upload gratitude and download grace
·         be a proactive thinker, not a reactive thinking
·         be aware of what unleashes your darker thoughts and how to handle them
·         how to keep from delegating control of your emotional life to others
·         how to broadcast your blessings instead of fuel your negative emotions
·         recognize that what you think is a choice and how you interpret experiences is a choice
·         become proficient at interpreting events in a way that empowers you to improve them
·         interpret adversity to build your strength instead of drain your energy.
While this book is biblically based, it is not filled with Scriptures and the name of Jesus is not prolific, so I wouldn’t substitute it for another devotional.  (Interestingly, The 4:8 Principle is more explicit in its Christian-ness.)    I read the book in a few days from cover to cover, but now I want to assimilate the principles into my life, so I am currently reading it again and working through the exercises over the next 40 days.  This book is a constructive tool to use in transforming your thought life.  I am hoping that 4:8 thinking will become a more natural habit in my life as a result of the Holy Spirit working in me through this book.
For information about this book, the author, and excerpts, check out this book at the Tyndale House Publishers website:  40 Days to a Joy-Filled Life.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for my honest review.

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