The Human Heart Is Complex
As I read The Dynamic Heart in Daily Life: Connecting Christ to Human Experience by Jeremy Pierre, I saw that the human heart is extremely complex. Whether in a formal counseling setting or in daily life, we must interact with people understanding that they are thinking, feeling, and active beings. We can’t merely operate with them in one aspect of their heart to the neglect of the others. Not only is this vital for all human relationships, but it’s also vital as we relate to God.
Dr. Pierre powerfully impacted my view of God and human interactions. As I learned more about how my heart and the hearts of the people around me worked, I learned more about how each of these aspects of my heart affect my relationship with God and others. I learned that God, through His grace, renews my thoughts, emotions, and actions, and that I need to evaluate each of those areas of my heart in my relationships with my wife, friends, and counselees to be an effective believer and counselor. Since I tend to focus on my thought life rather than my actions, I will now be daily looking to filter all of these areas of my heart through the gospel.
The Dynamic Heart in Daily Life was firmly rooted in the gospel and the Word of God. There were many reminders that we can’t focus on changes in any area of the heart without the grace and mercy of God. Looking back to the first section of the book, the depravity of the heart apart from Christ is a powerful reminder of the need for Christ in order to elicit any change in our lives. As I read this, I was convicted of the many times I seek to change without utterly relying on the grace of God through the gospel.
An Enjoyable Read
I really enjoyed interacting with Pierre in his writing. As I was reading, I felt that he found a good balance between being technical and relatable. Early in the book, he was more technical as he explained the functions of the heart, but as I got more into the book, I felt like he was a counselor or a trainer giving me godly wisdom and counsel for my life and work as a biblical counselor. I have met Dr. Pierre in person, and I know that his personality definitely shined through in his writing.
There were very few places (if any) where I felt myself arguing or questioning Pierre’s rational for his statements. Pierre goes above and beyond to provide readers with the reasons for his main points. He also did a great job of reminding readers where they were, where they had been, and where they were going in the book. I never felt lost or that Dr. Pierre took unnecessary rabbit trails throughout the book.
An Applicable Read
The last few chapters of the book are flooded with extremely applicable questions regarding how to read, reflect, relate, and renew the human heart by looking to God in the various areas of our hearts. I will be seeking to assess how I relate to God, others, and myself, and how those responses should be filtered through the scriptures.
This book particularly focuses on human relationships and interactions, so even my smallest conversations will be impacted by what I learned. As I am thinking through applications for Sunday school, sermons, and community group gatherings, I will now consider the dynamic nature of the hearts of the people I am talking to or teaching. I will not only focus on actions (as I have been tempted to do in the past). I will also focus on how thinking and emotion impact people’s actions as well.
An Excellent Resource
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Not only was it a good introduction to the human interaction aspect of counseling, but it was also a great resource for looking into my own heart on a daily basis. As a natural thinker, I am wired to reject the emotional aspects of my heart to the extent that I fail to notice the impact my emotions have on my thinking and my actions. I am thankful for this excellent work by Dr. Pierre and look forward to using this as an essential tool in my biblical counseling ministry.
I received this book free from the publisher and willingly wrote this review for Cross Focused Reviews.
Chrys Jones is a Christian, husband, father of three, pastor, and teacher. He is also a recording artist and producer for Christcentric Records and a book briefer for Accelerate Books. In his free time, Chrys loves to spend time with his family, roast coffee, read good books, and listen to beat tapes and jazz.
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