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

April 30th is the last day to get Enemies of the Heart free as an MP3 Audiobook from Christianaudio.com

Enemies of the Heart: Breaking Free from the Four Emotions That Control YouTakeaway: Emotions can harm us.  Spiritual Disciplines can help us overcome harmful emotions.

I did not realize this when I started, but Enemies of the Heart is a revision of It Came From Within.  I have not read It Came From Within, so it is a new book to me, but I know many people have.

This book covers four emotions that damage us: guilt, anger, greed, and jealousy.  In each case he has a method of how to combat the unhealthy emotion.  With guilt, we need to seek forgiveness, not just from God, but from the actual person we wronged.  With anger, we need to forgive the people that wronged us, not just generally, but specifically and explicitly. With greed we need to get over the fear that makes us be greedy by being generous.  With jealousy we need celebrate those things we might be jealous of in those around us.

The book is based on a series of sermons, but in its current format, it feels a bit like a self help book.  This may be partially because I am listening on audio, and it is not Andy Stanley that is narrating.  The narrator is not bad, but he sounds like a self help guy.  I go to Andy Stanley’s church, and this is not how he preaches.  It would have been a much better audiobook if Andy Stanley had narrated.  Overall, I probably would rate this book a bit higher, if I did not go to Andy Stanley’s church, because I have heard a fair bit of the content in other formats.

When glancing through some other reviews, there were several people that complained that this book was about trying harder, not depending on God to overcome these ‘enemies of the heart.’  I understand their point, and I have a small bit of sympathy for it.  But I think it has something to do with how you come into the book.  I think there is an underlying assumption that the way that we overcome these enemies is to pray, depend on God and through the power of the Holy Spirit put into practice these methods.  I think it is clear from the book that these are not easy things to do.  I think it is also clear that you cannot do them on your own.  But I do think Stanley could have had another chapter or section about the process of depending on God, seeking after the Holy Spirit for strength and prayer.

The underlying premise of the book is that we do not accidentally overcome these issues.  It takes time, effort from us and intentionality, because these problems did not arise overnight.  I think the book can be read as self-help if you are not a Christian and that there can be some real benefit.  As a Christian this should be read as focusing on Spiritual Disciplines in order to move us toward Sanctification.


Enemies of the Heart Purchase Links: PaperbackKindle Editionchristianaudio.com Audiobook

I received a free copy of the audiobook from christianaudio.com for purposes of review.

This book was also reviewed by Bookwi.se Contributor Emily Flury

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