“Handbook to Happiness: A Biblical Guide to Victorious Living” by Dr. Charles R. Solomon is a fifty-year classic, with more than a quarter of a million copies sold. Although believers are enriched by deeper life devotional writers like Watchman Nee, Andrew Murray, and Oswald Chambers, people struggling with life-controlling problems assume that “devotional truth” does not directly pertain to their need for personal freedom. In “Handbook to Happiness,” the author bridges this gap, providing a clarified, practical handbook for strategic discipling and effective counseling, to help hurting people to exchange their life for Christ’s. Instead of living the Christian life by our own efforts and strength, we allow Christ to live His life in us, enabling us to become totally Christ-centered. How do you fix a broken person? Where do you take twisted emotions to get them repaired? The answer is the Cross. We must die to self and find life in Christ, by appropriating His work on the Cross, as taught in Galatians 2:20 – “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” This is known as “Exchanged-Life Counseling.” Don’t “Get A Life” – Exchange It!”
Dr. Solomon’s personal testimony involved emotional problems that hampered living. Finding only temporary solace with all the church had to offer, unable to survive for even one more day, the Holy Spirit intervened directly in Dr. Solomon’s life, through Galatians 2:20: “I am crucified with Christ.” Applied to his heart by the Holy Spirit, this gave him radical victory, becoming the message he was to teach, now 50 years ago. Understanding people, and helping them to understand themselves, involved unraveling the two intertwined themes of rejection and identity, to give self-understanding. With this accomplished, the truth of identification with Christ in His death and resurrection can be shared for all to find true freedom in Christ. People face problems impossible to resolve in the strength of human resources, and it is crucial to understand the concepts of rejection and identity. We have access to the infallible Word of God and the Counselor, the Holy Spirit who transforms our lives by renewing our minds (Romans 12:2). After being “filled with the Spirit,” we must “walk in the Spirit” to allow the Holy Spirit to control our lives. To experience the cross, we must embrace it, with its brokenness and suffering like the Master. To have victory in life, we must follow the way of the cross. Life comes out of death and victory out of defeat. It is a paradoxical principle. Through the exchanged life and the experienced cross, we become in experience what we already are in Christ by position.
Rejection, with its effects, after-effects and counter-effects, is the lack of meaningful, fulfilling and edifying love, resulting in the impaired ability to give and receive love. It can be so subtle and unintentional as to be unrecognized and unavoidable. The answer to rejection is acceptance. Human acceptance will not heal the damaged emotions, although it might be the only help available at the time. Being accepted in Christ is the only true, time-tested, proven cure in the world. Understanding identity and how it affects our life is vital. What we see as our identity determines where we look for acceptance.
“Our fleshly identity is what we are as a result of human resources. Our spiritual identity is what we are through the Holy Spirit’s power. The cure for an unacceptable fleshly identity is a true spiritual identity, which only a proper relationship to Christ can give us.” Our identity is who we are in Christ. We are being “transformed by the renewing of our minds” (Romans 12:2). We exchange our fleshly identity, based on indwelling sin, for our perfect identity in Christ, accomplished by the Holy Spirit, who gives us our true identity as redeemed children of the King of kings (Ephesians 1:17-20; Romans 5:10). “Our identity, based on who we are in Christ, is claimed by faith. We exchange our fleshly identity for the Christ-life, by exchanging a life of defeat for a life of victory.” (Luke 9:23). We define our identity to understand what we must lose, in order to live out our true identity in Christ as dearly loved children of God. We deny our old identity to exchange it for our new identity in Christ. “He who loses his life for my sake shall find it” – (Matthew 16:25).
For five decades, thousands have found help and healing through Spirituotherapy – a Christ-centered strategy pioneered by Dr. Solomon. The practical principles of this time-tested, proven treatment are presented in “Handbook to Happiness – A Biblical Guide to Victorious Living.” People with emotional struggles are helped to return to the cross of Christ and see themselves buried with Christ in His crucifixion and raised to new life in His resurrection. “Handbook to Happiness” relies heavily on the truth of Scripture to give people hope and encouragement. Countless lives are transformed by the Holy Spirit on all six continents since 1970, with so many spin-off ministries such that an exchanged life movement was launched and several books written.
Each transformed life experienced revival. People were set free where psychotherapy had failed, including addictions. The wheel and line diagrams are effective from 8-80 and may be used in evangelism, discipleship, and counseling. Prison inmates are very receptive to the book’s message. The Handbook to Happiness is published in 10 languages with chapter 2 (the Wheel and Line) in 49 languages. Dr. Charles R. Solomon, the author of “Handbook to Happiness” and founder of Grace Fellowship International, has an extensive counseling ministry in the United States and worldwide. He has written twenty books, including four books of New Covenant Poetry.
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“Handbook to Happiness” (Tyndale House Publishers) is the foundational book for SpirituotherapyTM, Dr. Charles R. Solomon’s doctoral thesis from the University of Northern Colorado in 1972, awarding the degree of “Doctor of Education in Spirituotherapy.” This Bible-based approach to counseling or discipleship is called Exchanged Life Counseling.
Dr. Charles R. Solomon is the Founder & President Emeritus of Grace Fellowship International (GFI), incorporated in 1969, to implement a spiritual counseling ministry to share the power of the Cross with hurting people. GFI trains professionals and lay people on six continents to share the power of the Cross and see the Holy Spirit radically transform lives. GFI is a nondenominational corporation, whose allegiance is to the Lord Jesus Christ and to the infallible and immutable Word of God. “Handbook to Happiness” leads hurting people to be healed by the living Word of God. GFI pioneers a Christian counseling model that applies the victorious life message of the New Testament to personal ministry, teaching how one can be equipped for Christ-Centered soul care ministry as a biblical counselor. Starting a full time ministry on February 1, 1970, GFI now has a prominent presence on six continents, transforming lives in revival and sanctification, through the ministry of discipleship counseling and the printed page. Handbook to Happiness (Tyndale House Publishers) is the flagship book of the Exchanged Life counseling movement, synonymous with revival.