A discussion about the sources and solution to the negative thoughts we have.
~~Watch the Video~~
- Emotionally Healthy Spirituality
- Traits of Wholeness
- Elijah Defeats the Prophets
- Elijah hiding from Jezebel
- Our Inner Critic
- Self Judgment
- Inner Speech / Inner Monolog~
- Still Small Voice
- Hearing from God
- 2 Corinthians 10:5
- 1 Kings 17:1
- 1 Kings 18:1
- 1 Kings 18:7-10
- 1 Kings 18:17-19
- 1 Kings 18:37
- 1 Kings 19: 1-2
- 1 Kings 19: 3-4
- 1 Kings 19:10
- 1 Corinthians 4:1-5
- 1 Kings 19:12-17
2 Corinthians 10:5
5 We are destroying arguments and all arrogance raised against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ
Emotionally Healthy Spirituality
Book: emotionally Healthy Spirituality by Peter Scazzero
Voices of the Environment
The voices of our surrounding environment and our past are powerful.
They repeat the negative beliefs that we may have learned from our family of origin or our culture growing up:
- I’m a mistake
- I’m a burden
- i’m stupid
- I am worthless
- I am not allowed to make mistakes
- “If these people would only like me…then I’d be OK”
- I don’t have the right to experience joy or pleasure
- I don’t have the right to assert myself and say what I think and feel
- I don’t have a right to feel
- I'm too fat
- I'm too thin
- I'm too short
- I always say the wrong thing
- They won't like me if they know I _____
- If only I was ____ life would be easier
- I don't have the right to speak up
- I don't have the right to feel this way
Example: I was cooking today and added the sour cream too early
- “oh that was stupid”
Who ever has negative self-talk like me?
The bible tells us to "take every thought captive".
Problems With Negative Self Talk
Our negative self-talk can
- Hurt our self image
- prevent us from taking actions that we need to take
- prevent us from obeying God and carrying out His plan for our lives
Most people who judge others harshly have a problem that they judge themselves
- You can love others unconditionally if you don’t love yourself
A Christian View of Yourself
Becoming emotionally healthy helps us overcome this
Becoming emotionally healthy allows us to accept the unconditional grace of God
It allows us to experience the love of Jesus Christ
- I hold myself in high regard despite my imperfections and limits
- I am worthy to assert my God-given power in the world
- I’m empowered to exist
- It is good that I exist
- I have my own identity from God that is distinct and unique
- I am worthy of being valued and paid attention to
- I am entitled to joy and pleasure
- I am entitled to make mistakes and not be perfect
It switches you from judging yourself based on
- Opinions of others
To being based on a loving God
God gives us permission to express ourselves… The bad along with the good
Emotional health allows us to experience love for others and ourselves
- Emotionally healthy Christianity
- Contemplative Spirituality
- Being guided by the Holy Spirit
Wholeness allows us to experience love for others and ourselves
Traits of Wholeness
We are in our series called Seeking Wholeness
How can we be _______ healthy
Dealing with life’s current stresses and also being healed from experiences/wounds of the past
We’re not just supposed to have eternal life
- We’re supposed to have: joy, peace, patience, and self control here on earth
What are some of the traits of wholeness?
Traits of Wholeness
- Not seeking external approval / validation
- Living by values and principles
- Setting Boundaries
- Taking ownership of your responsibilities
- Living with purpose and passion
- Healthy relationships with others
- Not losing control of your emotions
- Free from addictions
- Addressing Conflict
- Not critical or Judgemental
- Not jealous
- Genuinely applaud the success of others
- Forgive those who have wronged you in the past
- Know that you’re worthy of receiving love
- Not afraid to fail
- Able to manage irrational fear, worry, and anxiety
- Selfless encounters with others
- Not manipulating others trying to control their actions/reactions
- You care about how others feel
- Don’t give into peer/social pressure
- Can communicate directly
- Don’t take responsibility for other people's emotions
- Take responsibility for your own emotions
- Being led by the Spirit
Elijah Defeats the Prophets
Who are some of the great prophets in the bible?
- John the Baptist
What do you guys know about Elijah?
- In Matthew 11:14, Jesus calls John the second Elijah
- He didn’t die
- Ahab was king over Israel
- Ahab did evil in the sight of the LORD, more than all who were before him
- Married Jezebel
- Worshiped Baal in the temple
1 Kings 17:1
1Now Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the settlers of Gilead, said to Ahab, “As the LORD, the God of Israel lives, before whom I stand, surely there shall be neither dew nor rain these years, except by my word.
- Tishbite = from Thisbe
Elijah = Yah is God
Elijah Faces Ahab and 850 Prophets
1 Kings 18:1
1Now it happened after many days that the word of the LORD came to Elijah in the third year, saying, “Go, present yourself to Ahab, and I will provide rain on the face of the earth.”
Obadiah was in charge of Ahab’s household
- And he feared the LORD greatly
- Obadiah had hid 100 prophets of Israel
1 Kings 18:7-10
7Now as Obadiah was on the way, behold, Elijah met him, and he recognized him and fell on his face and said, “Is it you, Elijah my master?” 8And he said to him, “It is I. Go, say to your master, ‘Behold, Elijah is here.’” 9But he said, “What sin have I committed, that you are handing your servant over to Ahab, to put me to death? 10As surely as the LORD your God lives, there is no nation or kingdom to which my master has not sent word to search for you; and whenever they say, ‘He is not here,’ he makes the kingdom or nation swear that they could not find you.
- Ahab was searching to have Elijah killed
- Elijah knew Ahab wanted to kill him
- Elijah went to meet him because he got a direct word from God
Elijah Didn’t Fear for His Own Life
1 Kings 18:17-19
17 When Ahab saw Elijah, Ahab said to him, “Is this you, the cause of disaster to Israel?” 18He said, “I have not brought disaster to Israel, but you and your father’s house have, because you have abandoned the commandments of the LORD and you have followed the Baals. 19Now then, send orders and gather to me all Israel at Mount Carmel, together with 450 prophets of Baal and four hundred prophets of the Asherah, who eat at Jezebel’s table.”
Why wasn’t Elijah afraid to face Ahab?
- The Isrealites had began worshiping Baal and Asherah
- 450 prophets of Baal and 400 prophets of Asherah
- call on the name of your god, and I will call on the name of the LORD,
- the God who answers by fire, He is God
- Prophets cried out to Baal all day until evening
- Nothing happened
Elijah Did it For God
1 Kings 18:37
“Answer me, LORD, answer me, so that this people may know that You, LORD, are God, and that You have turned their heart back.”
What was the goal of all that Elijah did?
That the people may know
- You oh Lord are God
- You have turned their hearts back
- Elijah repaired the altar of God
- The fire of the LORD fell and consumed the burnt offering
- All the people said, "The LORD, He is God; the LORD, He is God."
- Elijah killed the prophets of Baal
- Elijah Sent Ahab Home
- Elijah Made it Rain
- Elisha prayed and made it start raining again
How was Elijah able to do all of this?
What was Elijah focused on?
Elijah hiding from Jezebel
1 Kings 19: 1-2
Now Ahab told Jezebel everything that Elijah had done, and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword. 2Then Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah, saying, “So may the gods do to me and more so, if by about this time tomorrow I do not make your life like the life of one of them.”
- Faced the king who was going to kill him
- Called down fire from the sky
- Killed 850 prophets
- Made it rain
How would you expect Elijah to respond to Jezebel’s threat?
1 Kings 19: 3-4
3And he was afraid, and got up and ran for his life and came to Beersheba, which belongs to Judah; and he left his servant there. 4But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a broom tree; and he asked for himself to die, and said, “Enough! Now, LORD, take my life, for I am no better than my fathers.”
What emotions were Elijah experiencing?
He blew the threat up higher bigger than it should have been
Elijah performed powerful feats in public, but had problematic thinking and asked the wrong questions in private.
- He had bad self-talk.
Elijah Focused on the Threat
1 Kings 19:10
And he said, “I have been very zealous for the LORD, the God of armies; for the sons of Israel have abandoned Your covenant, torn down Your altars, and killed Your prophets with the sword. And I alone am left; and they have sought to take my life.”
Elijah focused on himself
Sometimes the devil will try to make you think things matter when they actually don’t
What is Elisha focused on now?
Elijah‘s focus turned to himself.
- Comparing - “ look at all the bad stuff they are doing“
- Pride - “I’m all you got left God”
He said I’m here because I’m running away from that situation
Prior to this, he was focused on doing for God, and telling the people that they need to be doing for God.
This is the same Elijah that
- brought a little boy back to life
- pray and made it rain
- Killed 850 prophets
Our Inner Critic
Does anyone ever focus on the negative and make things worse than they are?
We all have scripts that we rehearse in our minds that make us feel trapped.
We tell ourselves…
- I don’t look like a model… There’s nothing attractive about me
- I never went to college… I’m stupid
- I gave in to that temptation again… I am a terrible person
- I don’t have a significant other… I’m not worthy of love
- I’m not married… I’m incomplete
- I can’t rebuild an engine and don’t like sports then… I’m ot a real man
Inner Critic Causes
These could have been caused in childhood…
Whatever your parents or caregiver said to you… You begin to say to yourself.
- This is intended to protect you from doing what caused the hurt in the first place.
You were judged harshly or frequently by parents or other family. You could begin to feel wrong, bad, inadequate or worthless especially if this judgment was accompanied by anger yelling or abuse.
Being shamed or ridiculed by parents, family, teachers would cause an inner critic to come out to shame you. Kids may repeat the scolding phrase to themselves on their own.
Punishment as Control
You Are Bad
Parents overreacted and punished the child for something they did and said they were bad. This activates an inner critic part that undermines or guilt trips the child.
As adults we use the same harsh approach that was used on us.
Rejection or Abuse
If your caretakers ended up rejecting or abusing you you felt that you didn’t have the right to exist.
This would create an inner critic part that blames you for the abuse to prevent you from fighting back and getting harmed even more or being abandoned entirely. It blames you to give you the illusion of being able to control or prevent the situation. It also prevents you from fighting back which would cause further abuse.
If your parents used guilt to control you this would create an inner critic to guilt you into doing things or cause you to caretake for the parents.
Attention / Gifts
if they scolded you for wanting attention or gifts which is normal.
If they represented themselves as martyrs and made it your responsibility to take care of their pain and make them feel good.
Example: “I had to give up ____ for you”
If you were judged or ridiculed whenever you are strong, visible or capable this would activate an inner critic part to protect you from further criticism.
Intensity of the Inner Critic
The intensity of the inner critic’s attack will be proportional to the pain that the child felt. The more pain that the child felt the stronger and aggressive the inner critic will be to protect the criticized child
The Story You Tell Yourself Review
We did two lessons on the stories we tell ourselves and discussed
- The Dependence Story
- The Unworthy/Defective Story
- The Disconnection Story
- The Mistrust Story
- The Failure Story
Drive to Achieve
My drive in life comes from a fear of being mediocre. That is always pushing me. I push past one spell of it and discover myself as a special human being but then I feel I am still mediocre an inch interesting unless I do something else. Because even though I have become somebody, I still have to prove that I am somebody. My struggle has never ended and I guess it never will
—Madonna for vogue magazine
1 Corinthians 4:1-5
1 This is the way any person is to regard us: as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God.
2 In this case, moreover, it is required of stewards that one be found trustworthy.
3 But to me it is an insignificant matter that I would be examined by you, or by any human court; in fact, I do not even examine myself.
4 For I am not aware of anything against myself; however I am not vindicated by this, but the one who examines me is the Lord.
5 Therefore do not go on passing judgment before the time, but wait until the Lord comes, who will both bring to light the things hidden in the darkness and disclose the motives of human hearts; and then praise will come to each person from God.
- Unlike David, Paul does not examine himself
Give Yourself Grace
Paul is not only saying… Don’t judge others
He is also saying… Don’t judge yourself
The word “judge“ or “judgment“ doesn’t just speak of the verdict, but it speaks of the process
- To examine
- to evaluate
- to scrutinize
We need to fire our inner lawyer
We get judgment from
- other people
They only charge that matters that of God
You only see my actions, God sees my heart.
You need to separate what you did from who you are
- I can judge my actions and decide not to do it again.
- But I shouldn’t let that define who I am.
A lot of people have built their identity off of victimhood.
“ your past may explain you, but it does not excuse you“
Go to counseling… But be careful of the labels that they give you
The Temptation of Idols
We are tempted to judge ourselves based on criteria that we’ve defined
Jesus faced this temptation from Satan in the dessert
- I am what I do
If you are the son of God tell they stones to become bread
- I am what I have
Jesus was tempted to rule the land
This plays on our issues of fear and the source of our security
- I am in control
Satan tempted Jesus to throw himself from the highest point of the temple so that the angels would catch him
- I am what others think
Most of us put too high of value in what other people think
True freedom comes when we no longer need to be special in other people's eyes
Identity in Christ
When my identity is in Christ
- I’m free from your judgment
- I’m free from my judgment
God is a big thing and other people become a small thing
People pleasing and God pleasing don’t go together
Story: Jaden looked up to see if Bryan was pleased
It switches you from judging yourself based on
- Opinions of others
God has made each of us with our own unique
To being based on a loving God
God sees you with the finished product in mind
God doesn’t live in time
Inner Speech / Monolog
- Howard university study
Understanding the voices in our heads
Not everyone has an internal monolog
Meaning, some people's thoughts are like sentences they ‘hear', and some people just have abstract non-verbal thoughts, and have to consciously verbalize them. Most don’t know taht the other type of thinking exists.
Studies show that some individuals never experience it at all, while others only experience it occasionally.
What is Inner Speech?
Inner speech is when a person speaks their thoughts without moving their lips or any part of their body
It only refers to thoughts accompanied by specific words
These words have the same sound, inflections, tones and accents as they would if they were spoken aloud
When you read, do you hear the words in your head?
Can you look into the mirror and talk to yourself without opening your mouth?
What Inner Speech Looks Like
- When people think aloud on TV
- Can have a conversation in your head before approaching the person.
- Gotten angry over theoretical conversations
Back and Forth Conversations
About 75% of people report that sometimes they have back-and-forth conversations within their head
- They usually play both parts of the conversation
- 25% of people report the other people show up in their inner speech
- People who have had imaginary friends are more likely to use this type of dialogue
Some people have “imagined interactions“
- You imagine what you should’ve said to the person to cut you off in traffic
- You role-play how you’re going to break up with someone
- Your role-play the interaction of an upcoming date alone
What It’s Not
- It is not visualizing
- It does not include feelings like happiness or hunger
- It’s not your awareness of sensory experience
Prompted inner speech and spontaneous inner speech aren’t the same
Is it Common?
Inner speech exists on a spectrum. Very few people have absolutely no inner speech, and very few people engage in it all of the time.
According to Hulburt an inner monolog is a frequent thing for 30 to 50 percent of people.
Speech and the Brian
When you go to speak your brain sends information to two parts of you
- The motor part - your mouth
- The sensory part-giving you a prediction about what it’s about to hear
This is what is happening when you have inner speech. Because it is activating the hearing part of the brain.
Your brain uses the mechanism to determine if what you hear matches what you’re saying and as use for error correction. For instance if you are stuttering and stop you from talking.
The concept of your inner speech is often about “self regulation“
- Time management
Negative Inner Speech
Much of the time, our inner speech consists of:
- negative things about ourselves
- our negative emotions
- us trying to decide if we are good enough
People who have more depressive tendencies tend to experience more depressive self talk
And we know the people who are more anxious tend to engage in more self critical inner speech
Still Small Voice
1 Kings 19:11-17
11 So He said, “Go out and stand on the mountain before the LORD [Yahweh].” And behold, the LORD was passing by! And a great and powerful wind was tearing out the mountains and breaking the rocks in pieces before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind. And after the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake.
12 And after the earthquake, a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire; and after the fire, a sound of a gentle blowing.
13 When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave. And behold, a voice came to him and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 14 Then he said, “I have been very zealous for the LORD, the God of armies; for the sons of Israel have abandoned Your covenant, torn down Your altars, and killed Your prophets with the sword. And I alone am left; and they have sought to take my life.” 15 The LORD said to him, “Go, return on your way to the wilderness of Damascus; and when you have arrived, you shall anoint Hazael king over Aram. 16You shall also anoint Jehu the son of Nimshi king over Israel; and you shall anoint Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah as prophet in your place. 17And it shall come about that the one who escapes from the sword of Hazael, Jehu shall put to death, and the one who escapes from the sword of Jehu, Elisha shall put to death.
- Elijah went
Obedience is Better Than Sacrifice
Why was Elijah’s fear and doubt different from that of the Israelites entering the Promised Land?
- The Israelites were punished to go into the desert
- Elisha remained obedient
It’s a problem when you have negative thoughts. It’s a bigger problem when your negative thoughts prevent you from doing the right thing.
Elijah Brought His Problems to God
Elijah wasn’t actually talking to himself. He was talking to God.
That’s the difference between us and Elijah.
We Should Talk Openly to God About our emotions
Hearing from God
What made Elijah regain the confidence to go back?
- A word from God
- God laid out the plan to Elijah
Story: When God told me to teach
Make it Rain
God had already stated that it would rain.
- But He didn’t do it until Elijah prayed for it.
What if God is waiting for you to pray for something…other than yourself?
We looked at this in the lesson Unchained Disciples : Which Prayers Are Always Answered
- Pray For What God Has Already Decreed
- Pray in Accordance to God’s Will
- Remind God of What He Said
- Don’t pray selfishly
Not Moved By the Chaos
Elisha wasn’t afraid of the earthquake
But he also didn’t go outside when there was an earthquake
Elisha didn’t respond to the fire
Elijah only responded when he heard the wind…the still small voice
When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave.
Elijah knew that the gentle blowing …the still small voice…was the voice of God
We want to get to a point where we are that familiar with God‘s voice.
- So much so that the shaking of the earth can’t move us.
- So much so that the fires don’t concern us.
- So much so that the threats of people don’t phase us
- So much so that the opinions of people don’t influence our decisions
We want to get to the point that we are not moved by the opinions of others
- We want to get to a point where we aren’t moved by our own negative self talk
We want to get to a point where we only move when we hear…the still small voice of God
Instructor: Michael Leadon
Emotionally Healthy Spirituality
Taking Control Of Your Mind
Pastor Steven Furtick | Elevation Church
Identity, Freedom and People Pleasing
Which Prayers Are Always Answered?
God rules the heart of every man: Elijah’s battle with the prophets of Baal
What are you doing here? | Elijah part five: Rich Whittier
Life point church
The power of self talk
Family faith church Shiloh
Inner speech may be an important part of “working memory“. This is a memory that you want to access really quickly.
- One of the components of working memory is the ability to repeat information to yourself until you no longer need it
- For that you need inner speech