Chapter 13: Break Free from Unhealthy Thinking

Chapter Summary

Polarizing, Magnifying, Personalizing, Generalizing, Emotional Reasoning, and Minimizing (with great suggestions for helping you overcome each!)

  • Similar to Chapter 9 in style this chapter deals with our own unhealthy thinking patterns.
  • The six named thinking patterns are identified and you will assess to see which, if any, fit your style.
  • Each fall into a sequence: A – Activating event, B – Belief system or self-talk, C – Consequences are the responses generated in our A-B combinations in life – daily
  • We can do little to change the A, especially those generated from others, but we can make choices to minimize the impact of some of the A’s by not watching, going, reading, allowing certain things that we know activate poor responses in us
  • The B or Belief system is the big-ticket item we’ve been addressing in this workbook so far.  In other words, what do you believe about God, yourself, your spouse, relationships, truth, love, etc.  These have been challenged and by God’s grace changed to more accurate, biblical views.
  • Note the D represents Disputing untruths.  You have been.
  • E – represents Enjoying more positive consequences/responses to the A’s in life.
  • Let me simplify this chapter.  If you get lost in the labels, ask yourself this one simple question:  What in my life brings out feelings and responses from me, that are not Christ-like and loving?
  • When you identify these things or people or situations, then you assess your improper responses; you’ll be able to start making the changes needed to give a more appropriate God-honoring response.
  • As you deal with the hurt and guilt from your past, you’ll find that you have more margin in your soul/heart to “take stuff from others, process it well, then give a better response than before.  When you are full of poison and get shaken, the cup spills out the poison onto others, but when the cup has room for the filling of God’s Spirit, then you can allow Him to respond in love.  What a blessing!  God is in control rather than another person pushing your buttons.
  • Scripture Memory:  2 Corinthians 10:5 is great for Chapter 13.  Philippians 4:8 is too.


Small Group Questions

  • Which types of unhealthy thinking patterns did you see in your home of origin?
  • How have those patterns influenced your own thinking and conclusions about truth?
  • What are some lies (Stinkin’-Thinkin’) you believed in past years about God, self, others, marriage, or what constitutes real success in life?
  • How did you discover your thinking was wrong?
  • How do lies generate behaviors that may become destructive to self and others?
  • For example, what destructive behaviors might arise in those who believe that a “successful life is found in having more money, power, or beauty than others?
  • What truths have you learned to counter the lies you previously accepted as truth?
  • What differences have been made in your life by accepting the truth to replace the lies you believed?
  • In light of 2 Corinthians 10:4, 5 what are some thoughts you need to take captive?
  • How can your spouse or others help you be better at taking thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ, or is this done alone?