July 13, 2013

Runaway Emotions {Book Review}

God has designed emotions, both positive and negative, for a purpose. Think of emotions like an alarm that picks up smoke signals in a house. It exists to alert those living in the home that a fire is burning somewhere, and so it is with our emotions: The alert us to what's going on inside of our hearts. For example, according to Schreve, when we experience frustration, our "desire for meaning or purpose is on fire" (i.e. our feelings of purpose are being shaken with). In his book, Runaway Emotions: Why You Feel the Way You Do and What God Wants You to Do About It, author Jeff Schreve takes the readers by the hand to show them the deeper meaning to the following emotions: anger, frustration, depression, worry, discontentment, and more. 

Runaway Emotions is a good beginning book on the topic since it's written clearly and is easy to understand. Personally though, having read other books on the same subject (by authors such as Paul Tripp, Ed Welch, etc.), I did not think this book went into great detail or expanded on much other than the mere basics. This makes it a great read, as I said before, for someone who's just starting to look into emotions in relation to God and scripture, but I would not recommend it as a resource for someone who's looking for something "meaty" and deep. (After all, whole books have been written by Christian counselors on emotions such as depression, anger, etc. and Schreve only talks about each emotion for one chapter, leaving much unsaid.) While reading it I found myself thinking too often how I already knew quite a bit of the information being presented already, making it an un-challenging read with little digging or interacting with the book for me personally, but this of course, won't be true for everyone who picks up a copy. Schreve preached a sermon series on emotions, which then led to him writing this book, and as the reader this seemed very obvious throughout it's entirety. By this I don't mean it was "preachy" in it's tone, but only so much can be said in a sermon (I keep coming back to the whole lack of depth issue), and so at times it seemed as though the author was giving a quick fix to dealing with negative emotions, when in reality, this is not always the case. Band-aids cannot heal staph infections. Overall, the book was relatively fast paced, making it a quick read. So a satisfactory introductory book, but for the person who's already well-versed on the subject matter or looking for something more in-depth, it may not be the book for you.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” *Book Cover image made available for use by Book Sneeze in conjunction with a review.


  1. Thanks for the book review Natalie! Would you recommend another book on this topic? Sounds interesting, but maybe another choice would be better?

    1. Really most books written by Ed Welch or Paul Tripp are great in looking at emotions (they tend to be more specific and focus one emotion per book).


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