I just got through ready Andy Stanley’s ENEMIES OF THE HEART: Breaking Free from the Four Emotions That Control You and all I can say is, “WOW.” I never knew how ignorant about the four destructive emotions (Guilt, Anger, Greed, and Jealousy) and how they wreak havoc on our relationships.
The book is built around the Scripture, “Guard Your Heart, for everything you do flows from it.” (Proverbs 4:23)
Andy is very concise and organized in dealing with these four destructive emotions. The book is divided up into four parts:
Part 1: Where did that Come From?
This is where he illustrates how difficult it is to deal with heart issues. I agree with Stanley when he writes that we’ve all grown very good at deceiving ourselves to the point that most of us have no idea just how corrupt we really are. This book is an attempt to shed light on the subject. The Bible says, “The truth shall set you free.” (John 8:32)
Part 2: Deeper Debts
This is where he exposes the four destructive emotions in detail. (1) A Guilt: I Owe You (2) Anger: You Owe Me (3) Greed: I Owe Me and (4) Jealousy: God Owes Me.
Part 3: For True Change
This is where Andy discusses the antidote (habit) for each of one of these destructive emotions. Guilt says I OWE YOU so the solution is confession. Anger is fueled by the notion that YOU OWE ME, so that debt is remedied with forgiveness. Greed is kept alive by the assumption that I OWE ME –a twisted way of thinking that’s remedied through generous giving. Jealousy says, “GOD OWES ME and the answer is to CELEBRATE people’s successes.
This part was the best part of the book for me. The truths are so simple and yet so powerful which makes them easy to apply in your life and those around you. My favorite part of the section was one that dealt with anger and forgiveness… WOW! The book is worth ready just for that section!
Part 4: Moving Forward
This is where Andy touches on how we can teach our children how to guard their hearts?
The book is loaded at the end with great discussion questions for each of the chapters. Overall, I would give this book 5 stars because it has something that everyone can relate to and use. The four habits he lays out in response to the four destructive emotions are very practical and enable a person to love the way God would have us love. Well done, Andy!
This book was received free of charge in exchange of a bias free review of it’s contents.