This is the first book by Andy Stanley that I have read and after finishing it, I don't believe it will be the last. Enemies of the Heart opens up with a very simple and basic question that most everyone never really asks themselves: How is your heart? Not the physical heart but the spiritual heart. I have to admit that it was a question that I never asked myself until I started reading this book.
Andy Stanley presents to his audience the fact that out of all of the troubles we experience in life, those troubles boil down to four basic emotions, or "Monsters' as Mr. Stanley calls them: guilt, anger, greed and jealousy. Mr. Stanley further shows how these emotions inflict their damage on us as he shows how they interact in our lives. Guilt makes a person feel "I owe You", Anger says "You owe Me", Greed says that "I owe Me" and finally Jealousy states that "God owes Me". I have to admit that the further I read the more intrigued I was.
It is in part two of the book that Mr. Stanley discusses, demonstrates and delivers his point to the reader. It was in this section that I started feeling very uncomfortable as most of what he was speaking about hit home in more than one way. My expectations is that when you read it, you will feel the same way as I did. In Section three of the book, Mr. Stanley shows the reader how these emotional demons can be overcome with more positive, God given ones and as a reader, I began to see how these could be had more of in my personal life.
In Section four of the book, Mr. Stanley confronts the readers who have children in their lives, in whatever way, but specifically to parents, how to positively emphasize and encourage children to unburden their hearts of the four bad emotions and utilize the good ones explained in section three. Also in this section is a small chapter on Lust, specifically sexual lust that I feel is a must read for both sexes.
This book's audience is geared primarily to believers in Jesus Christ, but I believe that everyone could benefit from this book if they will read it and give it a chance. It is a short read at only 157 pages, and Mr. Stanley's style of writing is very down to earth and folksy, with sprinkles of humor intertwined. If you feel that you or a loved one have problems in your life and those problems may be stemming from one of the four emotions Mr. Stanley writes about, then I suggest you read this book or give it to that person.
The book includes at the end helpful discussion questions, which is excellent for personal application, and small group discussion.
So, how is your heart?
Please note that this book was presented to me by Waterbrook Press in exchange for a review. I did not promise, nor in any way indicate a positive or negative review to the publisher. The review as presented is mine and mine alone.