Freeing Tangled Hearts by Dolores Kimball
“Women’s hearts become tangled and strangled in ways that are different from men. Our doubts and fears are very personal. We doubt our ability to be loved, to be good mothers, to maintain successful and meaningful relationships, and we doubt our own worth and value…Part of the battle women wage every day is the battle of our emotions. The goal is to manage our emotions instead of letting them manage us. The victory over our emotions enables us to recognize when they are lying to us, and to know what to do with negative emotions like fear, doubt, guilt, anger, bitterness, and envy in order to keep them from ruling our lives and tangling our hearts.”
Dolores Kimball is a Bible study teacher, women’s retreat speaker, experienced editor and writer, and has worked for several large Christian ministries such as Focus on the Family, David C. Cook, and Compassion International. She speaks plainly and right to the heart of women in this book about matters that affect us all at some point in our lives. And while this is not a how-to book, the author does guide the reader through self-examination (chapter 2) as the first step in untangling our hearts. She balances her teaching with the physical aspect as well as the spiritual and emotional components of our lives. In chapter 3, she compassionately prepares us for the process by encouraging us to gird ourselves for a battle.
One of the principles Ms. Kimball shares with her readers is “Don’t live by your feelings.” It’s fine to have feelings; God has emotions too. But human emotions ebb and flow, are untrustworthy, and can erode relationships quickly. As Jesus’ followers, our goal is to distinguish between truth and feelings and live by the truth. In the subsequent chapters, the author examines fear, doubt, guilt, anger, bitterness, and envy under the magnifying lens of the Scriptures. All these emotions are aimed inwardly on ourselves. The opposite of these crippling feelings, faith, forgiveness, love, joy, peace and contentment focus on God. By training our focus on God instead of ourselves, we can prevent much of the entanglement that robs us of the fulfillment God wants us to have daily.
Is it possible to be able to put off fear and put on confidence and strength? Is it possible to put off guilt and put on joy and forgiveness? Read Ephesians 4:22-24. God will make it possible for us. I know this to be true, since I’ve had to go through this process myself, several times. I’m sure it won’t be the last time either.
This is the type of book that will be extremely helpful for anyone committed to working through the issues mentioned in the book through prayer and meditation on God’s Word. I would recommend using a journal and writing down your thoughts, struggles, prayers and answers to prayers, battles, and victories over time. I find a journal is especially useful to peruse from time to time to gain a perspective on our progress. Most persons can work through the book by themselves, but I would recommend an accountability partner, a prayer partner or counselor for guidance and direction. This book would also serve as an effective counseling tool for pastors, Christian counselors, and other leaders.
A complimentary review copy was provided to me by Cross Focused Reviews (A Service of Cross Focused Media, LLC) and EP Books. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
“The authority the Master has given me
is for putting people together, not tearing them apart.”
-2 Corinthians 10:13 (TMB)
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