Reviewed by Poppy Johnson

We all lie to ourselves in little and big ways each and every day. Whether we are in full-fledged denial about how things really are or we want to hide from the truth just a tiny bit to feel better for now – Craig Groeschel makes the persuasive argument that we have to stop these practices today. By relating his wisdom and life advice on how to become better people overall and for Christians, suggestions for finding God’s grace in our lives, Soul Detox offers a guiding path away from hopelessness.

A friend once told me that you have to always be careful about how you talk to yourself – and I think this author would agree. It may be difficult to impossible to push away negative ideas and other people (who exhibit toxic attitudes) from our lives. But it has to be done nevertheless. It’s hard to know where to start the change, and the best place is usually looking inward toward our own attitudes.

Soul Detox carefully reviews toxic behaviors, emotions and influences. The chapters are arranged to lead logically from one problem to the next and to allow the readers to initiate real changes in their lives. Each chapter includes guidance on how to become more positive regarding your own life, how to be a light for others and highlights the barriers you may be able to identify, smash and overcome along the way.

An interesting aspect of the book is that Groeschel is spot on when identifying toxic people as chronic critics, controllers or tempsters. Every toxic person I have ever met can fall into one or more of these categories. The reader wins if he or she is able to identify that corporate boss or manager as a toxic individual bent on destruction and take the steps necessary towards self-preservation. Even if it means standing your ground or finding opportunities elsewhere, it is important to stand tall against the enemy. Either way, the new decisions you’ll make after being empowered by this book will ultimately make you feel better – which is the point.

There are examples of Bible Scripture throughout the book, and also examples of how evil forces (Satan, etc.) try to steal joy from our lives. Soul Detox tips the scale on the side of religious and spiritual advice, and it is definitely written for Christians as a tool to live more positive lives. But I’d suggest that the tips on better living would really apply to anyone from any religion – the advice is just that good! I’d recommend this book for all ages and for Bible study groups as well.

Rating: ★★★★★ 

After a decade of working in several NYC law departments and teaching, Poppy decided she enjoyed writing full-time. She currently works as a freelance writing consultant, and lives with her husband and sons on the East Coast.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Zondervan. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.