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Enemies Of The Heart: Breaking Free From The Four Emotions That Control You (2011)

Enemies of the Heart: Breaking Free from the Four Emotions That Control You (2011)
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4.24 of 5 Votes: 3
ISBN
1601421451 (ISBN13: 9781601421456)
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English
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Multnomah Books
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Enemies Of The Heart: Breaking Free F...
Enemies Of The Heart: Breaking Free From The Four Emotions That Control You (2011)

About book: I loved this book. I purchased the audiobook first and enjoyed it so much I bought the paperback as a study tool. Andy Stanley explains each problem/enemy in detail and then provides you with step by step instructions how to release yourself from the emotions that limit you from living your most fulfilling life. However, you must be willing to look at yourself honestly and want to make a better life for yourself. Religious self-help books are easy to dismiss, but Andy Stanley's got some good ideas on human nature. Framing the book around a proverb, "Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life" (Prov 4:23 NASB), Andy suggests attending to four besetting emotions that can corrupt one's life: guilt, anger, greed, and jealousy.And in a startling rhetorical move, Stanley translates each heart-issue into one of misplaced debt: Guilt as the belief that I owe you, Anger when I feel that you owe me one, Greed because "God owes me," and Jealousy when the world owes us something.For instance, in reframing greed as the fear that "God either can't or won't take care" of us, Stanley suggests that Christians stop looking at what we lack, and start asking why God has provided "extra" (more than bare survival needs) and how that could benefit other people in our lives."A consumer-driven culture keeps us laser-focused on what we don't have, and focusing on what we don't have leaves our hearts vulnerable to greed. How? Because as long as I'm on a quest for more, then when more does come along I'll assume it's all for me. As long as I'm living for the next purchase, the next upgrade, the next whatever, I'm consuming mentally what I hope to soon be consuming physically. I'm anticipating future consumption. That /// kind of attitude leaves us little margin for generosity... So let me ask you again: Why do you have so much? ... Why has God provided you with more than you need?" (147-8).From a completely religious perspective, Stanley is making the same observation as David Graeber does in his anthropological book on debt: debt keeps us enslaved to the future. Greed, and the desire for more - more honor, more status, a respected career, an impressive spouse, all keeps us tied to the future, and "consuming mentally" far in advance of where we actually are.Stanley's solution is both to engage in Christian practices of dwelling, and to stop viewing possessions and accomplishments as ours. If we can consider ourselves not owners, but as managers of what God has given, then we need not feel guilty for having more (although this could be an easy elision of power and injustice), nor to feel terror if we lose what we have or hope for -- it wasn't really ours in the first place (157).Ultimately, Stanley points to the book written by Jesus' brother, James, who wrote: "What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don't they come from your desires that battle within you? You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight" (4:1-2, NIV).Stanley believes this goes to the heart our "relational struggle" with others: there is a division between what we desire in our hearts, and what they will in theirs.It's an interesting take on relationships and the heart, but I'd ultimately like to see more specifics on handling such relational situations, as well as practices to lighten these tendencies of the heart. [Review for Waterbrook Multnomah via the Blogging for Books program.]
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Reviews
cat
Great book! Andy has a great way of explaining things that make you think about your life.
shizpiz
Not a lot of new material, but presented well by Stanley
suzannen82
WOW!!! A must read!
Ashish
Awwesome book!!!!
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