Dr. Mike Emlet, author, counselor, and faculty member at the Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation (CCEF), has studied and written about scrupulosity, approaching the disorder from a compassionate, holistic, and biblically-rich perspective. Not only have these resources been helpful in my understanding of scrupulosity, but I’ve found them to be great resources to pass along to my community for their better understanding. You can purchase his article and two hour-long conference talks at ccef.org.
- Scrupulosity: When Doubts Devour (audio)
- Scrupulosity: When Doubts Devour (article) (this article is an expanded, developed version of the above conference talk)
- Religious OCD (audio)
- Help My Unbelief: Devotional Poems & Prayers
- My published collection of poetry, available at Lulu, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble.
- Grace Abounding: Songs of Mercy for Seasons of Doubt
- A Spotify playlist composed of songs that have been personally encouraging and helpful, whether they engage deeply with doubt, uncertainty, anxiety, and suffering; bring their protests and questions to God; or highlight God’s character and affirm Christ’s heart for his suffering saints. These songs have carried me through many long, sleepless nights and anxious days, putting words to my experience and orienting me toward the Lord. I hope they do the same for you.
- OCD and Christianity
- Dr. Ian Osborne has written on OCD from a Christian perspective (see his book below). I’ve found his site helpful in its description of OCD and its manifestations, causes, and cures. There is also a blog section on the site where he writes monthly blog posts on the topic.
- Scrupulosity, Part 1
- The OCD Center of Los Angeles has helpful resources on OCD. Here is part 1 of a 3-part series on scrupulosity that I’ve found to be helpful.
- Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners (John Bunyan)
- A spiritual autobiography detailing Bunyan’s personal struggle, which seems a lot like scrupulosity. This book was simultaneously triggering and encouraging to me; triggering because it brought up specific thoughts and encouraging because it was the first thing I read that made me realize I’m not alone.
- The Doubting Disease (Joseph W. Ciarrocchi)
- A helpful explanation of scrupulosity, though not from a Protestant perspective. Most helpful to me was the detailed treatment for OCD, which helped reinforced what I talked about with my counselor.
- Can Christianity Cure Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder? (Ian Osborn)
- A helpful explanation of OCD in general through the lens of Christianity. Most encouraging for me were the specific examples from the lives of other strugglers such as Martin Luther, John Bunyan, and others.
While the following books are unrelated to OCD/scrupulosity, they have been very encouraging and helpful in reminding me who God is and how he views me, a vital aspect of fighting scrupulosity.
- Gentle & Lowly: The Heart of Christ for Sufferers and Sinners (Dane Ortlund)
- The Heart of Christ (Thomas Goodwin)
- God’s Grace in Your Suffering (David Powlison)
- The Prodigal God (Timothy Keller)
- A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23 (Phillip Keller)
Other helpful books:
- Surprised by Paradox (Jen Pollock Michel)
- This book helped me to see the paradox and mystery at the heart of the Christian faith. As people with OCD, we tend to love certainty and full knowledge, to try to solve every problem, and to be intolerant of any mystery, so it’s helpful to be reminded that God invites us to follow him and promises his presence, even in the midst of paradox, mystery, uncertainty, and confusion.
- When Strivings Cease (Ruth Chou Simons)
- We may believe that we are not only saved by grace, but also kept by grace, and that nothing we can do can change God’s view of us, either negatively or positively—but how well do we live out this truth? This book challenged the assumptions I so often make in my day-to-day life about how God views me and what role I play in securing my place in Christ, reminding me of his immense grace.
- This Beautiful Truth (Sarah Clarkson)
- Though this book is not about OCD, Sarah weaves her own struggle with it into the themes of the book, reflecting on how it is only the beauty of God’s goodness—through the gospel, through his creation, through the arts, through his people, and through every other good thing—that is powerful enough to break through the darkness of our suffering and remind us of hope beyond our imagination.
- Prayer in the Night (Tish Harrison Warren)
- This book traces the nighttime prayer of Compline to explore the reality of our suffering, our need, and God’s presence. It is an honest look at the hardship we all face and the light of God’s comfort in the midst of it.
Below are books about assurance. The first is a helpful guide for lack of assurance, including an exploration of the common evangelical saying, “Ask Jesus into your heart.” We with scrupulosity must be careful that such books do not lead to further rumination; however, I found this book’s emphasis on Christ’s finished work and the objective truths of the gospel to be helpful. The second book is a devotional, which again requires caution but can be helpful as it focuses on Christ’s responsibility in salvation.
- Stop Asking Jesus Into Your Heart (J. D. Greear)
- Assurance (William Smith)
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