Friday, September 30, 2011

Enemies of the Heart By: Andy Stanley



Do you ever feel angry, guilty, jealous, or greedy? I know I have felt all of these emotions at one time or other in my life. These are the four emotions that control us. When I chose Enemies of the Heart by Andy Stanley to review I was a little excited. I just love reading books by Andy Stanley and I was not disappointed when I read this one.

"Break free from the destructive power of guilt, anger, greed, and jealousy." -Quote from the back of the book.

Andy Stanley is a pastor, author, and founder of North Point Ministries. He is also the son of well-known pastor and author Dr. Charles Stanley.

Included with the book is a six-week discussion guide that you could use for small groups. I found this to be a very helpful guide in getting me to really think deeply about the concepts of this book. I felt as if Mr. Stanley wrote it specifically for me. He describes guilt as "I owe you", anger as "You own me", greed as "I own me", and jealousy as "God owes me". He goes through each of these emotions individually and describes each one on a level we can relate to. He then goes into way we can make positive changes in our behaviors and emotions. He gives suggestions on how to live a more satisfying and happy life. There is a chapter about forgiveness that I found very important in order to reach those goals. Here is a quote from that chapter:
  • "In the shadow of my hurt, forgiveness feels like a decision to reward my enemy. But in the shadow of the cross, forgiveness is merely a gift from one undeserving soul to another." (pg. 129).
That is probably my favorite quote in the book because when we harbor unforgiveness in our hearts it leads to anger, bitterness, and resentment. That is not God's desire for our lives. Enemies of the Heart gives us options and a scriptural basis on how to deal with these negative, destructive behaviors.

Another important element to this book is the chapter called For Your Children's Best. In this section of the book Andy Stanley helps us to see how our behaviors become our children's behaviors. If we act angry or guilty all the time then our children tend to become angry and guilty. Here is a quote from that chapter:
  • "We cannot control everything our children experience, but we can influence how they process what life sends their way. We can teach them how to guard their hearts against the inevitable firestorms of life. No one impacts the health of a child's heart like Mom and Dad. Intentionally or unintentionally, on purpose or by accident, we build into our children or take away. This may be our greatest responsibility as parents." (pg. 188).
I learned a lot about my own character through reading this incredible book. I learned that I need to forgive completely and move forward. I also learned that the way I treat life is the way my children will treat life. I want to leave a Godly legacy for my children to look back on. I want to lead a God-centered life. If you are experiencing anger, greed, jealousy, or guilt in any form then this is the book for you.


God Bless,


Kristy

*I was given this book by Waterbrook Multnomah for an honest review. The opinions expressed here are strictly my own.*

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