Dealing with emotions is not a typical matter for Christian authors, but Charles F. Stanley contends in his new book that emotions are in fact a gift from God.
In Emotions: Confront the Lies. Conquer with Truth., Stanley says that from the days of Adam and Eve, were given emotions by God as a way to connect with others and by doing so reflect God’s image in our own lives.
It would have been easy for this book to have been little but a glib and generalized approach to emotions. Stanley is a gifted writer and readers would have probably been satisfied if the book did nothing but repeat a bunch of vague statements about emotions and how they fit in a Christian life. But instead, Emotions is a thoughtful self-help book that offers some very specific thoughts on how we can improve our lives and best use our emotions to build the life God want us to have.
Stanley first provides four steps that will help readers deal with their emotions in a healthy manner. He argues that the first step is developing a healthy relationship with God. Only by doing that can we develop healthy relationships in the other aspects of our lives.
The acclaimed author also encourages readers to examine their lives and identify the negative emotions that cripple us emotionally. He then shows some ways to exchange those negative emotions for positive ones and by doing that, improving our daily lives with our friends and family. Finally, he encourages everyone to practice regular and honest prayer.
One of the central themes of the book is how unhealthy and negative emotions can impact every part of someone’s life. Stanley says these unhealthy feelings can diminish self-confidence, damage relationships, result in poor health and stagnated spiritual growth. According to him, it’s impossible to have a complete and fulfilling relationship with God without having control of your emotional well-being.
If there’s a flaw in the book, it’s that it makes the process of emotional growth and health seem a bit too easy to accomplish. While it’s true that it’s important to be as emotionally healthy as possible, Stanley underestimates the challenges for anyone trying to get to that point of their lives.
Even unhealthy emotions can be useful in the right situation and there is always a danger in a book like this that a reader can become so concerned with ridding their lives of negative emotions that they lose sight of other aspects of their lives that also have an impact on their connection with God.
Despite that slight caveat, Emotions is an extremely helpful book with concrete, down-to-earth suggestions that can make anyone’s life a little better. Everyone is just a work in progress and books such as this one provide us with the tools we need to become better people and better Christians. This is a useful book for anyone and would make a great gift for someone going through a rough patch in their lives.