Book Review: Enemies of the Heart

Enemies of the Heart: Breaking Free from the Four Emotions That Control You by Andy Stanley was previously released as It Came from Within. The copy I reviewed from Multnomah Books (ISBN 978-1-60142-145-6) included discussion questions for a 6-week study; the arrangement of the questions requires the participants to read the chapters by topic rather than sequentially. I chose to read the book as if I were part of a discussion group, but it would be up to the individual what order he or she preferred. Enemies of the Heart is a Christian living book that helps readers to examine their hearts for and rid their hearts of Guilt, Anger, Greed, and Jealousy. Stanley posits that behaviors are easy to modify through seeking pleasure and avoiding pain; however the task of changing the heart is monumental. But, the heart must be changed because out of it comes all sin. He goes on to say that Guilt, Anger, Greed, and Jealousy all come from imbalanced relationships in which there is a real or perceived sense of debt and debtor. The final chapter briefly discusses lust. Stanley states that sexual sins have their root in the four sins already addressed and that lust is a good thing. Although I mostly agree with what the author says, I would have liked to have seen a deeper word study on “lust” because the way Stanley uses the word is not the way most people would define it. The book is written in an easy-to-read way and follows a logical progression of defining each of the four sins, how to confront each one, and what habits to adopt to cure each one.

If one were to ask me before reading this book if I had trouble with all four of the sins discussed, I would have replied that I had a little trouble with some but not a lot of trouble with all. If I were asked the same question after reading the book, I would admit that I had trouble with all four sins listed. Enemies of the Heart defines and applies the characteristics of Guilt, Anger, Greed, and Jealousy in such a way that I was convicted of all four. I would recommend that everyone read this book. Although it does not exhaustively cover Guilt, Anger, Greed, or Jealousy, it will indicate what areas an individual struggles with most. And because I know that sin will continue to manifest itself in different ways, I plan to reread Enemies of the Heart in the future.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review. To download Chapter 1, click


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