In Balanced Living: Don’t Let Your Strength Become Your Weakness, Dr. Monty Knight develops the theme of balance as central to good mental health, to moral and spiritual health, to emotional well-being and social functioning. This theme emerges from his more than thirty years of experience as a Christian minister, as a counselor, as a teacher and clinical supervisor of counselors, as well as from his experience as a management and human relations consultant.
According to the Reverend Knight, “When we are failing or falling, it isn’t always because of some limitation or inadequacy on our part; often it is, instead, because we have taken a strength (or it has taken us) too far, such that our strength has become our weakness.”
Balanced Living is published (in paperback) by Wipf & Stock Publishers in Eugene, Oregon. It can be ordered online at www.wipfandstock.com, at Amazon, or through most book stores; it is also available for download as a Kindle ebook.
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Knight writes in the engaging language of a story-teller. His honesty and authenticity are apparent from the words of the introduction, in which he makes a point of writing that his approach is descriptive and interpretive. He writes from the perspective of a Christian pastor who is also a pastoral counselor and teacher of others. Although Knight himself is well-educated, he writes with no elitism. The book is as readable and useful for lay people as it is confirming for graduate students or professionals. It is as much for people of faith as it is for secularists. Knight told me he thought his book might be too religious for secular people and too secular for the religious. I found it to be well-balanced – acceptable to both and offensive to neither. He himself is well-versed in systems theory. As such, he integrates grace as opposed to rules into all he writes. This book is a keeper for me. – Pastor Sherry Owensby-Sikes Chaplain, The Franke Home Charleston, SC
In Balanced Living Robert Marsden Knight draws upon the breadth of his reading, study and considerable experience as a pastor, therapist and teacher and provides the reader with valuable information and timely wisdom which can be of great benefit… Fortunately, I was able to read this text while stranded in snowbound airports for two days. With the author’s help, I came to regard even this weather induced delay a providential break for reading and reflection, a needed and healthy balance in my own life… – The Reverend Dr. Daniel Massie, Senior Minister First Scots (Presbyterian) Church Charleston, SC
Balanced Living walks a wobbly line between textbook and self-help book. It is ideally suited for supplementary reading in counseling or equally at home in psychology, theology or interpersonal communication courses. It is a valuable resource for anyone who wishes to understand him or herself better, or for managers who want to understand employees better. Dr. Knight’s chapter “Balanced Religion,” and his section on “Theological Reflections” rise to a high point of expression. His treatment of the biblical concept of “grace” is without a doubt the clearest and most encompassing I have read. It is clear that his concept of grace undergirds his approach to pastoral counseling, pastoral care, and the training of future counselors. His understanding of grace is inseparable from who he is and it permeates his writing. – C. Mitchell Carnell, Ph.D. Director Emeritus Charleston (SC) Speech & Hearing Clinic
Dr. Knight uses his experiences to teach and pass on his wisdom, values and skills for future generations of counselors and marriage and family therapists. Reading his text gave me a window of opportunity to learn from the clinician, therapist, teacher, consultant, supervisor, and pastor regarding his knowledge and years of experience in working with families. His personal self disclosure brings the family metaphors and personal situations alive. I found this book challenging and enlightening… – Sallie Campbell, LISW MUSC Dept of Psychiatry Past President, SCAMFT
The considerable breadth of Knight’s experience enhances his ability to draw from many fields: he deftly interlaces his vast experience with an impressive array of references to seminal works in numerous fields. I believe this book will hold great appeal to knowledgeable lay people who are engaged in the quest for balance and good mental health in their lives. But it should appeal not only to them. As a former Presbyterian pastor and university administrator who is once again a medical school professor, I can testify that many who labor in the vineyard of human service, helping others find physical and mental health, are themselves in need of such health. For all these people – both lay and professionals — I recommend Robert Marsden Knight’s Balanced Living. – Andrew A. Sorenson, Ph.D. President Emeritus The University of South Carolina
I hear in Monty’s book the influence of his church, as well as his systems approach to therapy. There is plain talk to the therapist here. This book is a delight for seasoned counselor educators, practicing psychotherapists, students, and all who work in the helping professions. – Jack L. Shortridge, Ed. D. State Counseling Director Webster University Charleston, SC