What goes on inside us can be very complicated. This book by Metro-Atlanta pastor, Andy Stanley, works to untangle and uncomplicate what goes on by breaking down the dangerous emotions that we have going on into 4 basic emotions: guilt, anger, greed, and jealousy. In each of these areas, he talks about why they are so dangerous and gives easily spelled-out solutions to overcoming these emotions.
If you are familiar with Andy Stanley’s preaching and writing style, then you already know that he is extremely good at making complicated or lofty ideas more accessible. The simplicity that he gives to our inner emotions is definitely the major strength of the book. We can (or at least I can), at times, be overwhelmed by everything going on inside and feel like there is nothing that can be done. Stanley states that excepting things the way they are is very dangerous as it effects not only ourselves but our families and others around us. So, he gives clear instructions that start with meditation and end with an action that is usually carried internally but sometimes externally.
The strength of this book, I feel, is also its weakness. Sometimes the emotions that we deal with often involve two or more of the emotions mentioned and so a quick fix doesn’t always apply. Also, as this book was written by a man, the perspective of this book is, at times, clearly from a man’s perspective. As women are wired a little differently from men, there were some areas that I felt were untouched or ignored. For example, at the end of the book, Stanley talks briefly about lust and how it is also very dangerous but plays itself into the other four emotions. The group of women that I read and discussed the book felt that, while lust can also be an issue for women, that the emotion of fear is especially something that women deal with, can even debilitating at times, and was not fully flushed out in the book.
Overall, I recommend this book as it definitely got me to start thinking about the emotions going on inside and it encouraged me to start dealing with them. I recommend that this book be read with a group so that the issues within can be discussed (there are discussion questions in the back of the book) and so it can be discovered how each issues applies specifically to our lives.
This has also been reviewed by Bookwi.se contributor Adam Shields. Click here for his take.