Stopping Words That Hurt by Dr. Michael D. Sedler

Let me preface my review of Stopping Words That Hurt by saying it was a good book. Really.

But I hated it. Finishing it was agony. But not because it was bad.

I hated it because it was convicting. Every time I opened it, it reminded me that I really struggle with what the author, Michael Sedler, called “evil reports,” which he defines as “When an individual maliciously injures, damages, or discredits another’s reputation or character through the use of words or attitude.” As hard as it was to read the book and face my sin head-on, that’s why I chose to review the book in the first place. I knew it was a struggle that needed to be challenged if I was going to change my habits.

Sedler did a great job addressing the topic, and he did it in a non-confrontational way by explaining the importance of not listening to others’ evil reports rather than “accuse” the reader of spreading evil reports of their own. I don’t know if he did it that way intentionally, but it was effective.

This was not my first Sedler book—I reviewed When to Speak Up and When to Shut Up earlier this year. And like that book, I felt this one had chapters that didn’t quite tie in with the rest of the book, like the “What Happens When Fear Talks” chapter. It related to the topic, but I struggled to understand the correlation with the main topic. That aside, all the information was still good and helpful.

If you struggle with sharing gossip, or if you spend a lot of time with others who do, this book is a great resource. Sedler spends time explaining why language can be destructive, how we can recognize evil reports are coming, and what we can do to avoid them. He also does a great job pulling in biblical examples that help you see his points from a more practical angle.

*I received a copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers/Chosen Books in exchange for my review. My opinion of this book is my own and was not influenced by the publisher or the author.