Welcome to week 1 of the first-ever Transparency Book Study! Over the next four weeks, we’ll be reading the book, The Emotionally Healthy Woman by Geri Scazzero.
We’ll read 2 chapters from the book each week, and I’ll also share a weekly blog post summarizing some of the major themes along with a few of my thoughts. There will also be discussion questions at the end of each post, so please take some time to answer honestly and engage with other women who respond.
But without further ado, let’s dive right in!
Chapter 1: Quit Being Afraid of What Others Think
Before we dive into chapter 1, it’s important to note that the book is set up to discuss 8 things that we must quit in order for our lives to change with the first chapter sharing how we must quit being afraid of what others think. Needless to say, but Geri definitely comes right out the gate swinging with this one lol.
Chapter 1 uncovers one of the reasons why many of us deal with insecurity: the spirit of fear. It explains that there’s a problem when we try to find validation from others – whether it’s in the way we look, how successful we think we are, or whether we think we’re good enough. At the end of the day, Christ’s love is the key to our identity and it is the only thing that casts out all fear (1 John 4:18).
So if you struggle with…
- Speaking up when a friend has hurt your feelings because you don’t want to come across as sensitive
- Saying no when you’re asked to do something because you want to be liked even though it’s inconvenient
- Leaving a role or position because you don’t want to disappoint your mentor or boss
These are all examples of fear-based behavior and it is something that I’ve personally dealt with for a very long time. Actually, I am still on a journey of resting in God’s love rather than caring about what other people think. But the bottom line is, we don’t need approval from others when God already approves of us.
The truth is, we must make every effort to root our identity in God’s love and what He says, which ultimately allows you to live honestly and authentically.
- Think over this past week. Can you recall a situation in which your response to someone was rooted more in fear than honesty? (For example, you remained silent, avoided a difficult topic, gave the impression you agreed when you didn’t, or lied.)
- The next time you find yourself in a similar situation, what can you do to slow yourself down and respond thoughtfully and truthfully?
Chapter 2: Quit Lying
This chapter of the book is all about becoming the most authentic version of ourselves by being honest with our feelings and thoughts. One of my favorite quotes from this chapter was, “The degree to which we live in truth is the degree to which we are free.”
When it comes to honesty, it’s important that we don’t lie to ourselves, to God, or to other people. Read this guest post I wrote about the power of transparency to learn more about this. But if you’re looking for more practical ways to share the truth in love, Geri provides a great example! See below for how we should all practice speaking the truth:
- Respectfully: It’s important to be polite rather than use attacking/blaming language. Be sure to take the other person’s feelings into account.
- Honestly: Don’t lie or make up another reason to hide the truth. Share the truth!
- Clearly: Don’t beat around the bush or be passive-aggressive. Say what you mean!
- Timely: Pick a time that is beneficial for both parties (ex: not when they’re upset, not when you’re upset, or when they’re busy)
- We often internalize unspoken messages from our families and culture that make it easy for us to lie to ourselves or to others. What is one message you unconsciously internalized growing up that impacts your ability to be truthful? For example: Don’t show your feelings. Don’t talk back. Always be nice. Don’t fight. You must be successful, etc.
- In what situations are you most tempted to wear a mask and not appear with your own true face?
Hanha Hobson is an author, speaker, and the founder of Transparency Ministries. From published devotionals to empowerment workshops, she will stop at nothing to see women encounter God and she is passionate about teaching and equipping them to live a life of freedom. When she is not encouraging others or writing her heart out, she enjoys watching Grey’s Anatomy, eating Chickfila, and connecting with friends on Instagram. Come say hi!