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The Conditioned Mind

The Conditioned Mind: Overcoming the Crippling Effects of Sin and Guilt by Michael J. Mannia

Counselor and author Michael J. Mannia knows firsthand how the spiraling of sin and guilt can eat away at life.  His new book, The Conditioned Mind, is a look into how believers can overcome the effects of sin and guilt and live in the freedom that we have in Christ.  Through a careful look into the patterns that we develop and the mindsets that we get ingrained in, Michael is able to offer ways through guilt that bring freedom and healing.  I think this is not only a timely but a book that aims toward bringing real healing to its readers.

In the first chapter Michael looks at two needs that we have: our need for love and our need for security.  Love isn’t something optional for the human race, but something it needs at its core.  “Additionally, we need to reciprocate love.  We need to feel loved as much as we need to love others (8).”  Love is a two-way street that involves each member of the relationship giving love to one another.  Our second greatest need is the need for security.  Michael points out that routine, familiarity, and predictability are the hallmarks of security.  A child needs to know that each day her mom or dad will be there in the morning as he awakes and at home when he or she arrives home after school.  A parent also needs the security that his/her spouse will not put them in uncomfortable, unfamiliar, and dangerous situations. 

On the chapter on Breaking through Denial, Michael points out the deleterious effects of denial.  He writes, “When the facts of an issue are accepted but the significance or impact is denied, it could be said that we are minimizing (86).”  Michael points to the life of David in his sin with Bathsheba.  Although David might have thought that his sin was not grave, he minimized effects of morally compromising his role as King.  It wasn’t just simple denial that David held onto but a deep sense of self-deception that would tell himself that his situation wasn’t as bad as he’d made it.  Michael makes it clear that we need prayer to the Lord himself to show us the areas where we minimize sin so that we can walk in the light as He is in the light (89). 

From rationalization to repression and depression, evil and pride, Michael is careful to bring together biblical solutions for the predicaments we find ourselves in or that we put ourselves in.  I I found this book to be a good outline of some of the mental challenges we face as Christians and how we can overcome these challenges with God’s Word, his people, and prayer. 

Thanks to CrossLink Publishing an BookCrash for the copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.


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