Kevin W. Shorter. Breaking Free: How to Be Completely Free from Any Addiction. Kevin Shorter, 2014. See here for Amazon’s page about it.
Breaking Free contains Kevin Shorter’s suggestions on
dealing with addiction. Shorter writes from an evangelical Christian
perspective, and he says that his own addiction was pornography.
Shorter’s suggestions include recognizing God’s love, allowing God to
shape one’s perspective about one’s experiences and other people,
looking at the root causes of addiction to find healing, doing service
work to get out of oneself, and being in a non-judgmental group where
one can share openly. I would say that Shorter’s suggestions overlap
with those of Alcoholics Anonymous, only Shorter’s perspective is
In my opinion, the greatest asset to Shorter’s book is his
interpretation of I John. I John is a book of the Bible that has long
troubled me, since it seems to assert that people who sin repeatedly or
who fail to love others are not truly saved. Shorter offers another
perspective: that addiction to a sin is not a sign that one is not saved
at all, but rather is an indication that one has failed to shine God’s
love into a certain area of one’s life. I do not know if that is what I
John originally meant, but I do find Shorter’s interpretation to be a
constructive way of looking at the Christian life.
There were areas in which I may have differed from Shorter, but I
could understand and appreciate his rationale. First, I personally am
not dogmatic about when God speaks to me. But I can appreciate
Shorter’s point that, with God’s help and the help of a mature human
being, we may need to look at the negative experiences of our life and
place them within a more positive narrative, or that we should look for
the positive in ourselves and other people. Second, I tend to shy away
from small groups, but I can understand why many find them helpful. I
appreciated that Shorter mentioned the challenges of finding
non-judgmental friends and a support system.
In some cases, I found myself wishing that Shorter gave specific
examples. Shorter mentioned service work as a way for one to get
outside of oneself and thereby lessen alienation and depression. In my
opinion, he should have listed examples of service work that one can do.
Shorter’s book had grammatical mistakes, but, overall, they did not detract from the book’s readability or clarity.
The author of the book asked me to write a review. That did not influence the review’s content.