14 October 2011

Review: Enemies of the Heart by Andy Stanley

Disclaimer: In exchange for an honest review, this book was given to me for free by WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group.

If you’re looking for feel good, make it all go away right now, instruction, this is not the book for you. For a little book, it packs a powerful punch. Anger, greed, guilt, and jealousy are emotions that can really do damage to one’s heart. This heart is most likely already hurting and doesn’t know which way to turn or how to funnel the energy involved.

Andy Stanley, the son of Dr. Charles Stanley, goes through each of these four emotions and explains what he feels are the reasons behind them and how to work through and conquer them before they conquer us. Overall, his advice is sound. However, I did not agree with all of his ideas. His answer to one “arguing” with his thoughts is that these are the areas where Heavenly Father is convicting us that we need to work. While I have a good deal of experience with being convicted of things by the Holy Spirit and know that this can come about in some of the strangest ways, this came across to me as Stanley putting his own ideas in the mouth of the Father, implying that arguing with him is the same as arguing with God.

If you’re looking for a book to help you get over or through the type of jealousy that comes about because of wandering eyes, the section on jealousy will likely be of no help. It mainly speaks of the type of jealousy that is at play when a person has a better car, better job, better house, etc., than you do. He also goes on to imply that lust is normal and created by God. In my opinion, desire for one’s spouse is what Heavenly Father created and lust is the term for desire that travels beyond the marriage bed. Desire for one’s spouse is a positive; lust is a negative. Lust is desire manipulated by the devil and turned into something that it should not be.

This book, along with the included study guide, will make you take a long, hard look at the negative emotions, why you have them, and offer you ideas regarding how to deal with them. Even though I disagreed with some of it, it has been a help to me, if only to make me think about the hard things. I would recommend it for others that are struggling to have a healthy heart.

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