LASTing Peace, Week 31, Being Okay With Me

Our first question!

To submit your own question, please comment here or tweet #QandApredatorylies, or you can message me on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/benjity or on Pamela Black’s page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/349479885192431/.

 

Book Review, Crash the Chatterbox

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.

The #1 Predatory Lie

The media’s most predatory lie to young girls is not about their intrinsic worth or imperfect bodies, but the relentless message that the world revolves around the individual. That the future depends upon their personal fulfillment, their abstract happiness, their popularity, beauty, fitness or success.

And does the lie change all that much as we age? Do we ever outgrow the tendency to be swayed by media’s appeal to our momentary self? No, the message need only change pitch to reach the frequency preferred by mature fancies. Suddenly it becomes: The value of my life is dependent upon financial success, perky breasts, expensive shiny toys, worthy ministries, slender thighs, flat abs, perfect marriages.

Whether condemning or condoning, challenging or consoling, the crux of media’s message remains a constant concave assault on the God-image of man. Practical propaganda seeks to turn our eyes and attention from our God-reflection to our self perception.

Consider the tagline of nearly ever advertisement: You deserve, You ought, You should, You need, You will, You’ll earn, You’ll save, You want, You’ll be, You’ll have, You are, You’re not, You can be…

Literally, almost every single banner ad, side-bar, full-page spread or 30-second sound bite appeals to numero uno. Even charities have learned it’s most effective to appeal to an individual’s pride concerning their “selflessness”.

To tie this into my central passion, the relief of women of all ages from the bondage of eating disorders, I believe our most effective strategy is not to focus on rebuilding her self-esteem, nor to focus on silencing the media’s lie that she isn’t “perfect” enough. 

Instead, freedom from eating disorders and all other means of bondage is found in understanding that we are not so important. That God is no respecter of persons.

Ps. 103:15 “Our days on earth are like grass; like wildflowers, we bloom and die.”

Doing so depressurizes the situation, the inflated fears of failure, the impending sense of doom if we do not achieve some nebulous goal or evasive success.

1 Peter 1:24-25 ““People are like grass; their beauty is like a flower in the field. The grass withers and the flower fades. But the word of the Lord remains forever.”

It is only here, in a humbled state, in a place where expectations fall away, that the broken find fulfillment in the truth that we were made for His gratification. It is only here, naked and weak, stripped of resources, that God’s word, that which remains forever, sweeps over and deposits truth in cracks and crevices, shores up our hearts and reinforces our understanding of our intrinsic worth. 

“I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.” Jer. 31:3

“So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace.” Romans 8:6