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Weakness Is Not Sin

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Wendy Ulrich, PH.D.  Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Book, 2009.  Softbound, 6x9" 153 pages.

An insightful book that both instructs and inspires — profound but also practical. Understanding the vital differences between weakness and sin can help us to trust more fully in the Lord, allowing Him to cleanse us from sin and transform our weaknesses into strengths. A book I will read again and again. — Brent L. Top, professor of Church history and doctrine, Brigham Young University

What is the difference between selfishness and depression? Immoral behavior and same-gender attraction? According to psychologist Wendy Ulrich, the difference is that the former are sins, while the latter are merely weaknesses.

In Weakness Is Not Sin; The Liberating Distinction That Awakens Our Strengths, Dr. Wendy Ulrich poses the question: How often do we respond to weaknesses with impatience and guilt, mistaking human fallibility for sin? Ulrich explains that human weaknesses can either lead to sin, or to greater strength through the grace of God — but weakness itself is a morally neutral concept, separate and distinct from sin.

Ulrich cautions that while many become despondent at the prospect of eliminating weaknesses, weakness is really just a part of the human condition. As we distinguish between weakness and sin, we can begin to use our weaknesses for good. Without recognizing this distinction, however, we can experience excessive shame and “miss out on much of the healing and peace God longs to give us,” Ulrich writes.

With keen doctrinal and professional insights, Ulrich helps us understand that sin and weakness have different origins, lead to different consequences, and call for different responses. Understanding the liberating distinction between weaknesses and sin sets us free to feel worthy and find true joy in our redemption. As we understand this important principle, we can learn to focus on strengths, and not despair over that which we cannot change.

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