He was my constant companion for almost 15 years and I didn’t even know his name. That’s how I felt when Steven Furtick officially introduced me to The Chatterbox. At first the title of Furtick’s new book and sermon series didn’t appeal to me. But finally, when it was either that or listen to reruns of old sermons on my iTunes list, I decided to give it a shot.
Instantly I was hooked. I couldn’t wait for each Sunday as Furtick slowly made his way through six sermons about this mysterious, ever-present menace cleverly camouflaged within my own thoughts.
It sounded like Furtick was telling my story, as if he’d been listening to my own percussive, demoralizing, internal dialogue. In a vulnerable manner, with extremely personal anecdotes, Furtick extended empathy and encouragement. If this renowned, eloquent pastor hears The Chatterbox in his own mind, then certainly The Chatterbox isn’t a figment of my imagination.
I’m sorry, I haven’t done a sufficient job of intruding The Chatterbox. Allow me to let Steven Furtick do so: “…this ceaseless war going on inside my heart and head. I’m waging it every millisecond of every minute of every hour of every day—the kind of chatter that can derail [a] day before it even gets started…[it] bombards [you] with thoughts, feelings, and even facts about why you can’t do it. Why you shouldn’t do it. And why you’ll never be able to do it. Why you’re too dysfunctional, too petty, too immature, too melancholy, too impulsive…”.
So you’re familiar with that voice? Me too. And after years of inpatient and outpatient counseling for an eating disorder, I am pretty numb to canned suggestions about how to shut it up.
I know I’m supposed to believe “what God says about me”. But often, those phrases just seem like randomly plucked passages, strung together with hyphens and ellipsis, all manipulated just to make me feel better: I am beautiful. I am special. I am strong… All true, but not very powerful in my experience.
Just as I finished listening to the sermon series, Furtick’s book, Crash the Chatterbox, became available. I had to have it. I was on the cusp of understanding and employing a new, fail-proof strategy to Crash the Chatterbox—permanently.
Furtick’s book is based on four confessions: God says I am, God says He will, God says He has, God says I can.
Furtick devotes three chapters to thoroughly explain each confession. The book concludes with relevant discussion questions and an invitation to visit the related website, http://www.crashthechatterbox.com. The website offers highlights, interviews, study materials and more, making the book useful for small groups and in home study.
There’s no way I can encapsulate in a simple book review what took Steven Furtick over 200 pages to say. But I will attempt to share what made the concept of crashing the chatterbox such an epiphany. Far from an outside-in approach to boosting self-esteem and improving my opinion of and respect for myself, Furtick takes an inside-out approach.
Confession, Furtick points out, actually means to “say with”, in this case, “to say with God”. God’s self-revelatory name, which He told Moses from a flaming bush, is I AM. All of the confessions begin there. It was in that same conversation with Moses that God insisted He was enough to overcome all of Moses’ insufficiencies, and that, yes, God had indeed chosen Moses to play the most pivotal roll in all of Israel’s history.
The point is not who God says I am, but that God says, I AM.
When we understand the incomparable power of the God who has given us Himself through Jesus Christ, The Chatterbox’s voice becomes feeble, weak and distant.
The only draw back to this book is Furtick’s own strength: it is well written, but Furtick is a charismatic, one-of-a-kind orator. I highly recommend listening to the six sermons as well as reading the book. It’s like seeing the outtakes of a great movie. There’s so much more you don’t want to miss.