Emotions serve a purpose in our lives, Schreve says. Uncomfortable and undesirable feelings serve as warning bells, telling us something is wrong. They reveal deep, unhealthy thinking.
Schreve explores the emotions many of us deal with. Embarrassment and insecurity relate to our desire for self worth. He helps us deal with feelings of inferiority by advising we incorporate into our lives the infinite worth we have because we have been born into the family of God and because of the price Jesus paid for us.
Loneliness deals with our God given desire for companionship and authentic relationships. We are to give ourselves to the Lord, he suggests and give ourselves to others. When we understand God's law of giving, we'll receive.
He identifies frustration as a blend of anger and discouragement. We are to remember that God knows all about us, that He has a special plan for us and that He will equip us.
He also writes about worry – a faith issue. We are to trust God, give Him ownership, and seek Him first. Anger is a control issue and we are to recognize God is in control and choose His grace. He discusses guilt and the wrong and right ways to deal with it. For discontentment, our recognizing why we experience difficult things is the beginning of the cure. And depression: “Depressed people are fixated on the wrong things.” (203)
Schreve ends his book by reminding us that God does not want us to get stuck in one of these negative feelings. The choice is ours.
He has given very good suggestions for understanding the why of the negative emotions and for moving beyond them. As with many books like this one, the choice lies with the reader. And his suggestions are not always easy, such as forgiving those who have hurt you, or, disciplining your mind to think correctly. For you to benefit from this book you would really need to work on his suggestions. He shares examples from his life and the lives of others to encourage you to do that.
The strong point of the book for me was finding out what the negative emotions indicate. We sometimes get so caught up in the emotion we fail to think of what God is communicating to us. Schreve has done an excellent job in identifying the underlying faith or thinking issues that are revealed by the negative emotion.
If you genuinely want to understand your negative emotions and desire godly suggestions that will lead you to having God's peace in your heart, this book is for you.
Jeff Schreve has served as Pastor of First Baptist Texarkana, Texas since2003. In 2005, he founded From His Heart Ministries, a radio and television ministry. He has a degree in Business Administration from the University of Texas and a Master of Divinity from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is working to finish his doctorate there. Jeff and his wife have three daughters, one son-in-law, and one granddaughter.
Thomas Nelson, 224 pages.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.