“They’re the four primary enemies of the heart — four life-blocking agents that become lodged in the heart, poisoning our relationships, our faith, and our character. There corrosive forces gain strength from the darkness. Secrecy is their greatest ally.”- Andy Stanley
In Chapter 5 (“Dynamic Debt”) of Enemies of the Heart, Andy Stanley discusses the single dynamic fueling the four primary enemies of the heart – guilt, anger, greed, and jealousy. Left to their own, these four enemies grow in power and influence. Like, Pastor Stanley observes, a lab experiment spinning out of control. However, these four forces lose their power when exposed to the light of truth.
Most noteworthy, a single dynamic propels each of the four foes. And it’s that dynamic that makes each foe so problematic. Because each enemy — guilt, anger, greed, jealousy — results in a debt-to-debtor dynamic. This, in turn, creates an imbalance in any relationship. It’s like the elephant in the room. The debt’s always present.
In general, the author notes, the person owed the debt owns the upper hand. But, the reverse also can be true. Either way, though, things aren’t even. One person in the debt-to-debtor relationship hold the upper hand. In addition, unbalanced power in this type of dysfunctional relationship creates a recipe for disaster. Furthermore, Andy states, this emotional and relational debt accrues interest at an astounding rate.
In conclusion, Pastor Stanley describes the only two ways to resolve this kind of tension:
“There are only two ways to resolve this kind of tension: Either somebody has to pay up, or somebody has to cancel the debt. As long as the debt is unpaid or unforgiven, the debt governs the relationship. It becomes a filter for everything.”
Next, in Chapter 6, Andy tackles the first enemy of the heart – guilt.
Today’s question: At this point, which of the four life-blocking agents do you think is the greatest threat? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Message from a heart laden with guilt”