Runaway Emotions - Book Review

Negative emotions can play a positive role in our lives, and even though they may be uncomfortable or even dark and crippling, they have a strong purpose and can serve as warning bells.  Jeff Schreve shows us how emotional pain is like a smoke alarm warning us when something is out of order in his book Runaway Emotions: Why You Feel the Way You Do and What God Wants You to Do about It.

Jeff Schreve chooses eight dark emotions (embarrassment, loneliness, frustration, worry, anger, guilt, discontentment, depression) and then explains how we must ask ourselves why we are feeling them, what they are warning us of, and how we can turn them around so that God can do something great.  Emotions are like smoke alarms – they can help us do find the real fire so that we can extinguish the flames and get things right on the inside.  Schreve uses men and women of the Bible as examples for each emotion as well as illustrations from his own life.  This book is biblically grounded and sound.

But I didn’t find anything new and enlightening in this book.  I was excited about the potential of the theme, but disappointed in the content.  Schreve addresses emotions in a simplistic and generalized fashion, and while he appropriately applies Biblical truths – God loves you, knows you, has a plan for you, so know who you are in Christ – he just scratches the surface. 

I would recommend this book for new Christians or perhaps for parents or youth leaders who want to dialogue about these emotions with older children or teenagers and guide them to maturity.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson Publishing in exchange for my honest review.  


  1. This sounds like a good book, but I think I'd like something that digs a little deeper than what this book seems to do. You might like the book, "The Dark Side of Leadership." It shows how every positive aspect of one's personality is also contrasted with a downside. It is very enlightening. It, too, focuses on biblical characters.

  2. Hi Paula! Well, at least you felt that you could be honest and you gave your best opinion. That is so valuable today.

    Thanks for the review!

    Peace in Christ,