Letting Go: Rugged Love for Wayward Souls

Reviewed by: Aubree DeVisser, a professional writing major at Taylor University in Upland, Indiana



Title: Letting Goletting-go-image

Author: Dave Harvey and Paul Gilbert

Publisher: Zondervan

Publication Date: 2016

Format: Print book

Length: 192 pages


Letting Go is separated into three parts, each equally filled with helpful guidance for dealing with wayward persons. Pastors Dave Harvey and Paul Gilbert share their personal experiences in counseling individuals and families. Their advice is scripture based as it relates to coping with personal conflict, marital and familial disharmony, and strained or broken relationships.

The book’s first section, centered on the “rugged life,” shares real life situations of wayward individuals, such as a disobedient and disrespectful child, an unfaithful spouse, or a friend or loved one who has turned away from God. Each scenario describes the difficulties and trials caused by these ordeals and proves that the readers are not alone in facing such confrontations. The authors provide sensitive and empathic approaches for attempting to restore damaged relationships.

The second part is focused on “rugged love.” Harvey and Gilbert point out when it may become necessary to show tough love to straying or harmful individuals. Through countless scripture examples they verify that circumstances may reach a level at which toxic individuals must be “let go” for one’s personal sanity and safety. The authors add that these prodigals may, indeed, later come back ready to change; but, unfortunately, they may become more rebellious and bitter than ever before. These pastors acknowledge every situation is different, but no lost lambs are forgotten by God.

Last is “rugged grace,” which requires the readers to accept the fact that the shame they might hold against themselves is not necessary. Whereas the weariness and the exhaustion that come with this guilt bearing is normal, it is no longer proper. Redemption and cleansing and forgiveness are available to all who seek them with an earnest desire.  The main emphasis of each of this book’s three parts is that grace can be extended to others, but it can also be received by one’s self. God gives second, even third and fourth chances for renewal.


Rating (1 to 5)

5 stars

Suggested Audience

YA and up

Christian Impact

Letting Go gives realistic advice that is supported by a variety of scriptures, giving the audience evidence and examples to reference. The novel teaches important lessons on how to show love as Jesus would, especially to people we may assume don’t deserve it. Overall, the experiences of the pastors and the examples from the Bible allow the reader to understand what the best route is in solving problems with wayward Christians.


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Letting Go: Rugged Love for Wayward Souls

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