Welcome to week 2 of the Transparency Book Study as we read the book, The Emotionally Healthy Woman by Geri Scazzero. This week, we’re reading chapters 3-4. If you missed chapters 1-2, check it out here.
Chapter 3: Quit Dying to the Wrong Things
In a nutshell, Chapter 3 is a chapter basically about boundaries and figuring out the things that really make you feel fulfilled all while growing in areas that may not be healthy (ex: bad attitudes, selfishness, etc.).
Geri touches on the idea that there are certain unrealistic expectations placed on “good, loving Christians” meaning that we put pressure on ourselves to be people that (1) never say no, (2) have an active social calendar, (3) juggle many things without complaining, (4) get things done, and (5) put others’ needs before our own.
While the motives behind these behaviors may be pure, putting them all into practice all the time is unrealistic for anyone. We cannot get so caught up doing them that we miss doing things for ourselves that bring us true joy and growth. Sometimes, we mistake them for things we should actually die to like pride, selfishness, gossip, stealing, the need to be right, fear of rejection, etc.
So yes, it’s okay to say no to your girlfriend who needs help this weekend if that means you can spend time by yourself resting for the upcoming, busy week! Overall, finding this balance requires a level of self-awareness and in the book, Geri suggests to become more self-aware by knowing our hearts, our stories, and our personalities.
This ultimately allows us to find opportunities and ways to become more of our true selves in Christ. That’s why it’s so important to find rest in God’s love, allowing Him to lead us in all things.
- In order to quit dying to the wrong things, we first need to be aware of what nurtures our spirit and brings us delight. Take a moment to make a personal list of everything you like to do. Now, what is one thing from your list that you want to integrate, or integrate more deeply, into your life right away? What adjustments might you need to make for this to happen?
- Write down one or two things you need to die to. (For example: Judgemental attitude, envy, defensiveness, perfectionism, lying.) Share one with us in the comments!
Chapter 4: Quit Denying Anger, Sadness, and Fear
This chapter of the book is all about understanding and addressing our feelings – the ones that we’ve been told that we shouldn’t have or express. Let’s be honest. We’ve all been tempted to believe that we aren’t really spiritual if we are feeling depressed, fearful, or angry.
And if we’re willing to be more honest, we’ve probably learned unhealthy behaviors regarding how to handle these types of emotions. For example, I grew up learning to be passive-aggressive and resentful because I wasn’t allowed to feel angry. Not to mention, I never learned the right way to express my anger (no worries though, I’ve grown a lot in this area). Or growing up in a household of high expectations, which led to my fear of making mistakes, resulting in a fear of becoming unsuccessful.
But when it comes to our emotions, the greatest freedom we can ever find is the freedom we have in Christ, knowing that He doesn’t want pretend spirituality. He wants authentic daughters who are willing to be open and honest about their emotions.
So Geri shares a lot more detail and insight into these 3 emotions, but my favorite part is the fact that she also provides great practical steps on how to process them. They are:
- Feel your Feelings
- Think Through Your Feelings
- Take the Appropriate Action
- What did the family you grew up in teach you about dealing with the following conditions?
Anger (ex: stuff it, explode, only certain people can get angry)
Sadness (ex: get over it, crying is a sign of weakness, sadness if selfish)
Fear (ex: ignore it, deny it, be paralyzed by it)
- It has been said that anger is often a surface or “secondary” feeling. It often grows out of another emotion that exists deeper beneath the surface – such as sadness, fear, or shame. Does this idea ring true with you? Can you think of an example from your own life?
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!