Prolific author and pastor/teacher/speaker Charles Stanley hits upon one of the most difficult topics for a Christian to face and overcome: emotions. When Christ followers feel bad, they wonder what kind of faith they have. Where is God? Has He forsaken them? Forgotten them? Left them alone to fend for themselves?
Stanley personally has dealt with all of these responses in his own walk of faith, and throughout this powerfully presented message, he helps guide other Christians to a fuller understanding of emotions and the part they place in a believer’s life. First, Stanley lays a firm foundation of how emotions affect individuals (positively and negatively). He lists the most common emotional responses folks have when they are hurting and insists that, first and foremost, individuals need a personal relationship with Christ (and trust Him completely) before they can turn their controlling emotions into something healthy.
"Readers and listeners of Stanley will be reminded of how essential it is to understand oneself and why they react as they do. His words will also provoke (in the most positive way) individuals to seek healing for their woundedness, so that freedom is no longer an elusive principle but a personal experience."
Victory over even the most powerful negative emotions, like anger, bitterness, revenge, discouragement and defeat, can be conquered through the quiet yet persistent work of the Holy Spirit in a person’s life. Stanley shares his own story of having difficulty comprehending that God loved him as a son because his own father died when he was only nine months old. It took intense focused time and intentional reflection (along with the wisdom of his closest friends) to help him work through his mental block and get through to his emotions. But eventually, he did come to a much more complete understanding of why he felt as he did. This example is common to all people. Our family of origin, our past, our traditions, our way of communicating all factor in to how we deal with emotions today.
Much of this text is written to aid Christians in first understanding the value of emotions and why God created humans to experience them. Next, Stanley guides readers through the root of all painful emotions by helping them identify the original source of their woundedness. He helps individuals review their past in the light of God’s truth so as to destroy the fears they cling to and equip folks to stand courageously for change.
Readers will find specific help in addressing and overcoming rejection, bitterness, guilt and despair. Each chapter offers a comprehensive mini-study course on identifying the particular emotion, how it works out in lives, how it injures and paralyzes, ways to be set free from the constraints of the negative emotion, pertinent Bible verses that speak exactly to the problem, and a list of introspective study guide questions.
Stanley is known for his directness in Bible teaching, and this resource is no exception to that rule. Readers and listeners of Stanley will be reminded of how essential it is to understand oneself and why they react as they do. His words will also provoke (in the most positive way) individuals to seek healing for their woundedness, so that freedom is no longer an elusive principle but a personal experience.
Reviewed by Michele Howe on October 16, 2013