Daily Devotional – I’m Normal.™ I AM Ministries
“To promote Godly living in a culture committed to destroying it”
Saturday, June 4, 2016
Are you normal? What sort of ideas pop into your head when you hear this question? This question is central to I’m Normal. I AM Ministries, but it is a question everyone struggles with. This question rattles around in our brains and brings us both comfort and frustration. The trick is to remember what is normal and to understand the source of that haunting voice trying to persuade us into believing we are not normal.
A close family friend and minister for Christ, D.D. Harvey, had an expression to describe the inner conflict in our minds. He called it “monkey chatter”. Monkey chatter is the negative inner monologue in our brain that keeps us from finding true peace. Monkey chatter is a continual stream of negative thoughts that propagates a poor self-image, feelings of inferiority that stem from a constant sense of guilt and inadequacy, a lack of self-esteem, self-condemnation, and criticism. In short, monkey chatter is trying to convince you you’re not normal, and it often succeeds.
Monkey chatter comes in many forms. Sometimes it targets how you view your physical appearance. It tries to convince you that you’re ugly and unattractive, too tall or too short, too thin or too heavy, too pale, have too many freckles, have the wrong color hair, or need cosmetic surgery. Sometimes you can hear it attack your intelligence – I am so stupid, I forget things, I have trouble solving difficult problems, I never made good grades in school, or every time I open my mouth I say dumb things and embarrass myself.
Monkey chatter attacks how we view of our talents and abilities. You hear your mind telling you “There’s nothing valuable or special about me”, “I’m not athletic enough”, “I’m musically inept”, “I’m clumsy”, “I’m a social misfit”, or similar refrains. On a spiritual level, it tries to persuade you that you are so sinful and so bad that no one could ever love you if they knew you, not even God.
Monkey chatter originates in a spiritual venue. The Bible tells us Satan accuses us “before our God day and night”. (Revelation 12:10). If Satan is accusing you of ineptitude before God, the One who knows you have value, he will also try to accuse you in your own mind, where he hopes to repeat previous successes to confuse you into believing you’re worthless.
It’s safe to say that every one of us has accepted some of the devil’s lies about ourselves, and we have believed them for so long that, even after becoming a Christian, our emotions and thought patterns are shaped by self-defeating, self-deprecating lies about ourselves. Even with the help of our faith, we have bought into Satan’s monkey chatter. Moreover, some of our Earthly compatriots contribute to our self-doubt.
Unfortunately, when you were saved, no one pushed a “clear” or “delete” button in your mind that allowed you to erase or dump all the negative, false thought patterns you had developed. The devil is keenly aware of this and uses these lingering issues to haunt and to taunt you. Thus, one of the great challenges of the Christian life is to go continually to the Word of God and to allow it to expose the lies we have believed about ourselves and to reject them, replacing them with the Truth of God’s Word.
God tells us there is hope. “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the Law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.” (Romans 8:1-2). This powerful and liberating verse from the Apostle Paul can help to liberate you from the negative, guilt-ridden, and condemning thinking that has been defeating you. It reinforces God’s message to us – most of what we believe about ourselves is a lie from Satan. We need to hear what God has to say about us, to believe in its Truth, and to cast out Satan’s lies.
Monkey chatter is not normal; it is an attempt by the devil to confuse you, to remind you of past sins, to riddle you with guilt, and to point out every failure and weakness. The Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is that the condemnation and curse of sin has been lifted. Each of us has to battle against the subtle, condemning, accusatory messages that bombard us daily. But in Christ, there is victory over Satan’s monkey chatter.
My prayer and hope is that you will be blessed by the liberating Truth from God’s Word. It is normal to use the gift of His Word as a strong weapon against inner conflicts and condemnation. If you will accept this verse and keep it in your heart, it can refresh your spirit and protect you from the monkey chatter that is trying to steal your joy. Then you will find the normal peace that God wishes you to have.
In His love and service,
A servant of Jesus Christ
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