Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Enemies of the Heart: Breaking Free from the Four Emotions That Control You by Andy Stanley

Andy Stanley in Enemies of the Heart: Breaking Free from the Four Emotions that Control You indentifies four heart illnesses that attack us and have negative impacts to our lives.  Though these four diseases are not physical, but emotional, they can be as harmful as heart disease and wreck out lives.  The four emotions that attack our heart are:
·         Guilt: I Owe You
·         Anger: You Owe Me
·         Greed: I Owe Me
·         Jealously: God Owes Me
These four emotions are underlying causes for relational disharmony with others and for the diminishing of our self worth.  Especially harmful, but not often discussed, is jealously which finds us harboring resentment against God and interfering with our relationship with our creator.  Stanley argues that way to overcome these diseases is the creation of habits that expose these emotions and allow us to break free from their hold on our hearts.  To conquer guilt Stanley advises confession.  Stanley offers forgiveness as the cure of anger.  For overcoming greed, he offers the remedy of generosity.  Finally to escape the hold of jealousy, Stanley prescribes celebration, the honest praise of the accomplishments of others.  By creating these habits, Stanley offers his readers an escape from these destructive emotions. 
In the past I have often found that Andy Stanley books are not for me.  However I really enjoyed Enemies of the Heart.  The book is honest, with Stanley freely using examples from his own life and those he knows to show both the destructive power of guilt, anger, greed and jealously and the power of creating habits to shatter their hold on you.  All four of these emotions are difficult issues to discuss, and his addition of a chapter on lust provides a very frank book that comes face to face with very difficult heart issues.  This is not a let’s feel good about yourself book, it is a text that makes you look into your heart and asses what holds you captive.  This is a book about the heart and what controls it, and it is frank, honest, painful and in the need immensely helpful in making it clear that we can escape the pain we emotionally put our hearts through.  This is a reprint of It Came From Within and it is a worthy title to reissue.                                   

Review Copy Provided by WaterBrook Multnomah

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