How to STOP the Pain (of Judgement) by James Richards – Book Review

A Review of James Richard’s “How to Stop the Pain

Are you suffering from emotional wounds of the past? Such wounds can come from a variety of sources and judgement is only one of them. A friend knew that I’ve an interest in inner healing and have been on the receiving end of judgement and she told me about James Richard’s “How To Stop the Pain“.

I have already read and listen to the audio narration of this book. Since the theme is about overcoming the emotional pain of judgement, it made sense to share my reaction. Is it worth buying? Keep reading and you’ll find out.

First, it would help to know who Dr. Jim Richards is. Dr. Richards is the founder and president of Impact Ministries. I found his backstory on the Impact Ministries site and it is incredible. Go here, if you want the details. This man went from a hippie sold out on drugs to a man sold out on sharing God. He went on to earn a variety of degrees that would help in ministering to many people.

I visited Jim Richards’ Author page on Amazon. It’s clear that he has written a wide variety of books. “How to Stop the Pain” was apparently published in December 2001. As a man with visual impairment, I do appreciate the audio version being released 20 years, later.

In my initial reading of this book, I can see that Jim Richards’ insights would have been of great value when it first came out. I was in great need of a lot of emotional healing and I did have a need for a change of perspective on the heart of God; as it relates to me. I was not just dealing with anxiety and depression. I’ve also had to deal with the feeling of being judged because of my disabilities.

Twenty years later, I am thankful for Jesus healing my heart and helping me in developing a healthier view of self and others. Yes, you can have a healthy view of self that is not centered on pride. However, I’d strongly suggest that you let the Holy Spirit take care of the issue; not you. Whenever we try to heal ourselves, it is a recipe for disaster!

I am glad that Dr. Richards talked about pains of the past because it something that I had to deal with. As I continued reading, it became clear that Dr. Jim Richards wasn’t stopping there. The whole book is centered on the theme of overcoming the pain of being judged and judging other peple.

Yes, it is true that hurting people tend to hurt others by judging them. How so? How did I judge other people when I’m the one on the receiving end? Because of past experiences and faulty messages, I would project ill intentions on other people. Yes, people do blow it especially in the area of disabilities.

However, it should not be a reason to pass judgement because I do not know the motive of their hearts. I can only go by their actions or the words they say. However, I can’t see what is in their heart. Only God can do that!

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

1 Samuel 16:7 NASB ’95

Does Dr. Jim Richards talks about the need to forgive? Yes, he does cover it and points out it’s only a starting point. We still need God, the Father to come and mend our wounded hearts. I can see that Richards would have a great help in my learning to let go of the past wounds. Why? It’s these past wounds that can fuel future judgements.

Upon reviewing my electronic copy of this book, Dr. Richards does bring up the issues of wounds caused by other people in the local body of believers. From what I can see, the good doctor does point out that we need to do a better job. As one would hope, he does point to solutions. This is where ministries centering on inner healing and pastoral counseling can be of great help!

Don’t take off, yet! It’s obvious that I liked this book; however, I would not suggest this book for a self-study! Don’t forget! I read Dr. Jim Richards’ “How to Stop the Pain” from a position of healing and clarity. I was not in that shape when the book came out! I would suggest the following alternatives.

I already pointed to one alternative. Ask your pastor to recommend a good inner healing ministry. A book like this should be in their library. They will sometimes have classes centering on a book like this. I am speaking from experience. A few years ago, my church had a class centering on Search for Significant by Robert McGee and Danny Silk’s “Keep Your Love On“.

Both of these books were a great help in my need for healing. However, the class was a bigger help. I went a lot further with the help of other guys than I’d have done, solo. The same thing applies to Dr. Jim Richards’ book.

You can also use “How to Stop the Pain” in a Bible study with other people. Yes, it is risky. However, you and I can’t live in fear of judgement or the opinions of other people. One of the key step for overcoming the pains of the past is connection with a group that is dedicated to helping you overcome your past pains.

I have no doubt that some people are going to say, “Thanks. However, I am not there, yet. I’ll try on my own, first.” It is your choice. I probably have done the same thing. However, I would suggest a slight modification to that idea and I am looking at my younger self. 😉 As you read this book, I would strongly suggest the following tip.

Invite Jesus to come and work with you in the study of Dr. Jim Richards’ book! Let the Holy Spirit guide you in your study of that book and trust God to guide your steps. Yes, I am talking about incorporating prayers with the reading of this book.

I can just hear my evangelical friends saying, “Don’t forget to read the Bible!” They are quite correct in this advice. Thankfully, “How to Stop the Pain” does contain a wide variety of Scriptures. Don’t just read the verse in Dr. Richards’ book. Open your favorite translation and read the verse and its surrounding Scriptures.

Don’t be afraid to talk with Jesus about what you’re reading in both the book and the Bible. Perhaps there is something you wished that Dr. Jim Richards had covered in this book. Ask Jesus about it! God can definitely help you.

I forgot to mention that Dr. James Richards does have some additional resources that may be of value to you. For one, he has a main web site for his ministry, Impact Ministries. They have a wide range of resources that may be of help to you. The link will take you to the Welcome page for that ministry. As you may expect, Dr. Richards has his own YouTube channel and related videos to go with the book.

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