How many times have we heard,
I can’t believe I just said that or I don’t know where that came from?
Dr. Luke records the words of Jesus that put these exclamations to rest: “A good man brings good things out of the good things stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” (Luke 6:45) As Pastor Stanley points out, regardless of our attempts to control, hide or otherwise diminish its impact, the heart is the source and control of our speech, action and thoughts. Troubles in the heart will soon become troubles in life.
Four enemies of the heart capture Stanley’s attention in this excellent book: guilt, anger, greed and jealousy. Four poisons that we allow to take root in the soul and then act surprised when their green tentacles reach out at the most inopportune time and damage the relationships that we value so much. Though Oprah would suggest a different path, Stanley correctly identifies these monsters as having spiritual components. Ever the excellent pastor, Andy devotes the largest portion of the book to armor and weaponry needed to combat them.
Pastor Stanley has penned a long string of must-have books for any Christian’s library and this volume belongs on the top shelf. Better yet, buy two copies so you can keep one and pass the other one around to everyone you know. (You should be aware that the book was previously published as It Came From Within, and you may already posses the material.) A useful discussion guide is included with the book enabling you to develop a dialog around the material, whether in a one-on-one relationship or in a group setting.
I am grateful to Multnomah who provided this copy for review.