It's one of those topics most of us would rather avoid in conversation -- why would anyone want to reveal private jealousies, resentments, fantasies, temptations, or other weaknesses? Yet steady sales of this valuable little book attest that there are plenty of us who struggle with sinful thoughts -- and desire help. For anyone who wavers at times between obeying the voice of the conscience and giving in to the lower nature, this book offers sage advice for coming through the struggle. Drawing on years of experience as a pastoral counselor, Arnold guides the reader from the throes of frustration and guilt to a life of freedom and joy.
This revised edition of a book originally published in 1973 is a concise, straightforward work written from a pastor's heart about the sinful thoughts--sexual, blasphemous or otherwise--that plague the heart. Arnold (1913-1982), an elder in the Bruderhof community for some 40 years, offers spiritual steps to turn away from these recurring, destructive thoughts and "to win this fight demands faith in Jesus, who promises us victory." Arnold contends that a rigorous program of confession of sins, repentance of sins and turning toward the Cross of Jesus leads away from these hidden sins of the heart. A discussion of Arnold's Bruderhof tradition, a Christian communal-lifestyle movement founded in 1920 in Germany by Arnold's parents, is reserved for an 11-page addendum. Finally, Arnold sounds a warning to the self-oriented, therapeutic tendencies of our day: "The goal of confession should always be liberation.... We want to find Jesus, not ourselves."