Saturday, July 30, 2011

Book Review: Enemies of the Heart

Guilt.  Anger.  Greed.  Jealousy.

These are emotional credit cards.  Charging on these adds up to a lot of debt.  Do you recognize them in your life?  Just like a visa card, this kind of debt controls your life.  Paying it off isn't as easy as writing a check, and the debt keeps racking up.  So what do you do?  How do you break free?

Enemies of the Heart, by Andy Stanley, is a reprint of the book It Came from Within.  In it, Andy unpacks each of these four emotions, first defining them and how they ruin your life.  Then he takes on the task of giving you tools to overcome these emotions.  Underlying every single tool is the power of the Gospel.

This book is published by Multnomah, one of my favorite publishers.  I had been waiting for weeks for something "interesting" to come onto my radar.  To be honest, I wanted a fiction novel.  But I downloaded the first chapter for free onto my kindle app, and was hooked.  (Don't have kindle?  You can read it online here.)

Personally I had a bit to work through of my own emotional baggage as I read this book.  I sort of expected that.  I also felt defensive at times (Andy anticipated that, and hit the nail on the head at one point).  I felt tempted to skim over certain parts and write them off as not applying to *me*.  So I will say right from the beginning that you should pray as you read and ask God to illuminate the areas of your heart that He is working on.  If you will allow the truths to sink in, the tools here WILL work and WILL be useful in helping you overcome negative emotions.

Just like the book Managing God's Money by Randy Alcorn, this book includes a section at the end directed towards parents.  Your children may not be old enough to get a credit card, but even at 2 years old your child is old enough to start charging up emotional debt.  When I look at my children and see negative behaviors and attitudes, it feels like I am looking into a mirror at times.  I see MY negative attitude and MY poor behaviors and MY emotional outbursts.  It breaks my heart!  I now have doubled my reason to change--for the sake of my own emotional health AND for my children.  Andy outlines some exercises for monitoring our children's heart health.  I have already put these into action with some very good results!

Enemies of the Heart is a great book and I recommend it.  The Gospel message presented is solid and Biblical truth is illuminated.  It is not an all-encompassing book.  Life's issues can never be broken down into 4 simple emotions and equally simple exercises for overcoming them.  But it is a great tool for sharpening your faith. 

I was given a complimentary copy of this book for review from Waterbrook Multnomah.  I was not required to write a positive review.  My thoughts and opinions are my own.

Please rate my review so I can continue to get great books to review from Multnomah!


  1. I rated the review, Steph. I now want (need?) to read this book because of your review.

  2. Hey thanks for the review..and I feel like Stacy..I want to read the book. It is amazing how much we influence our kids even when we don't think we are.