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Book Jacket

Trade Paperback
192 pages
Sep 2004
InterVarsity Press

Relational Masks

by Russell Willingham

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In Relational Masks, Russell Willingham seeks to show us that as Christians we are called to an openness and honesty that all of us need but few of us are willing to exhibit. He points out that relational masks are what we build around ourselves starting at childhood to protect us from pain; but these same protections cut us off from deeper levels in all relationships, divine and otherwise.

Until we are stripped of our masks and ready to be with God on a regular basis and soak up all his love and affection, we cannot truly serve. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 1 John 4:10 Willingham points out that we must first accept God’s love for us, realize it inside, and not simply try harder to love Him. The author states that is not only sin that hinders our relationship with God, but also the masks we place on our hearts. To be truly living in His joy, that blockage must also be removed.

This book is a must-read for every Christian. Even if we don’t apply it, perhaps it will provide the “crack” God desires to use to break our mask and draw us closer to Himself and, consequently, others. -- Linda Demorest, Christian Book

Book Jacket:

The Avoider. The Deflector. The Self-Blamer. The Aggressor.

Recognize someone you know? Or yourself?

We all know people who seem to get stuck in unhealthy patterns of relating to others. Sometimes we're puzzled by a loved one's evasiveness or surprised by a friend's defensive aggression. Occasionally we look in the mirror and see such troubling behaviors in ourselves. All of these are masks that we hide behind, and they prevent us from having authentic relationships with others.

Counselor Russell Willingham identifies the relational masks that obstruct us from relating freely to other people and to God. Drawing on a wealth of practical experience and biblical insight, he diagnoses the destructive ways that we respond to others and shows how underlying false beliefs govern our thinking and actions. He also shows how each mask can be subverted from within and turned inside out to help us move toward healthy relationships. Each chapter includes tools and questions for discussion and application.

Discover how to relate to others with the honesty and authenticity God intended--and find the relational freedom and satisfaction you’ve been yearning for.