Wednesday, July 27, 2011

ENEMIES OF THE HEART (Breaking Free from the Four Emotions That Control You) by ANDY STANLEY

Andy Stanley is AWESOME!! I opened this book and did not put it down until I was finished! I love how the Lord sends a book my way just when I need it. Perfection only by God! Do you have a heart problem? Lets put it this way, you may have a heart problem and not even know it. I did, or should say, I do. I have been holding in such anger and had no idea why. The very things I thought I was angry at wasn't even the problem. I had to dig deeper.

Andy takes us through our heart conditions that effect every facet of our lives. Anger, guilt, jealousy and greed. If we do not carry these in our heart we know someone who is. They effect everyone at some point in our lives. The point is, how do we rid ourselves of them?

Andy takes us through each one and not only shows us what the symptoms are, but the cure. Yes, he points us to healing. Change doesn't happen overnight, but we must make a choice within to begin change. Once we can identify our heart condition God can begin His work in us.

I grabbed my pen and just began underlining statement after statement. Such poignant and powerful words for a bleeding heart.

The very first verse, Andy Stanley, uses is, "The Heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? Jeremiah 17:9  This verse brought such clarity to me. I try so hard to understand what is going on in my own life and I just can't. I often sit back and say, "Where in the world did that come from?" We can't understand sin. We cannot understand why others treat us badly. We can't understand attack with any kind of reason, until we look deep into the heart! If something is not right, I can almost promise you there is a heart condition that hasn't been diagnosed yet.

Here are some of my favorites from the book!

"If you're a Christian you aren't expected to treat others the way you've been treated by others; you've been called to treat people the way you've been treated by your Father in heaven. You don't forgive because the other person deserves it; you forgive because you've been forgiven."

"As we've seen, each of the enemies of the heart we're discussing is energized by the idea that somebody owes something. Guilt says, "I owe you." Anger is fueled by the notion that you owe me. Greed is kept alive by the assumption that I owe me. This fourth heart issue is no different. Jealousy. Jealousy says, "God owes me."

"God's forgiveness doesn't exempt you from the responsibility for confession and restitution. On the contrary, his forgiveness is the very reason to confess. God paid a high price to reconcile you back to him, and now he's calling on you to pay the price to reconcile yourself to debts that have been neglected, apologies never made-these are things God will eventually lead us to own and resolve. How does He do this? Through nagging, undeniable, irritating sense of guilt that follows you around like a bad cold. you won't be able to confess it away or pray it away."

This book is filled with great wisdom and it is wisdom that this girl needed. I feel like I have every tool I need to overcome my heart condition. Since I shared my heart condition is anger, I too must share with you the four phases I must go through to healing. 1. Identify who your angry with 2. Determine what they owe you 3. Cancel the debt 4. Dismiss the case. This is one of those books I would encourage you to pick up. I am so glad I did. To Andy I say, Thank you with all my heart!!

This book was a gift from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing for it's review.

Andy Stanley is a pastor, communicator, author, and the founder of North Point Ministries, Inc. (NPM). Since its inception in 1995, North Point Ministries has grown from one campus to five in the Atlanta area and has helped plant more than thirty strategic partner churches globally. Each Sunday, more than twenty-five thousand people attend worship services at one of North Point Ministries’ five campuses. Andy’s books include Communicating for a Change, The Next Generation Leader, Visioneering, and How Good is Good Enough? Andy lives in Alpharetta, Georgia, with his wife, Sandra, and their children.


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