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4 Stars Out Of 5
Learn to overcome lies with truth
May 23, 2014
In her book Messages to Myself: Overcoming a Distorted Self-Image, counselor and author Helen B. McIntosh invites readers to "look at the way you currently speak to yourself and then change any messages that are not true." McIntosh's goal is to help readers learn to monitor self-talk and to filter it through God's Word, replacing faulty thinking with God's truth.
As a professional counselor, McIntosh operates from the assumption that what you think affects what you do; therefore, thoughts are important. She says that if people make changes to their thought processes, their behavior will follow. She spent some time showing how secular psychology supports her ideas. So, while I was a bit put off by McIntosh's heavy reliance on secular psychology to validate her claims, it was tempered by her clearly stated commitment to biblical authority. Still, I believe that biblical authority reigns over secular psychology any day.
The most practical and helpful part of the book is McIntosh's "Truth Chart." A Truth Chart has two columns: the left column is labeled "Thinking" while the right column is labeled "Truth." McIntosh shows readers how to take each thought and evaluate it using the Truth Chart, deciding to adopt God's thoughts to replace any lies they have believed. She offers countless practical examples as well as stories from her own life to help readers see the principles in action. McIntosh even includes a section on helping children replace lies with God's truth. She also explores this in the context of marriage and family and the messages we speak to others.
Overall, this is a great book for readers who want to overcome negative self-talk, to experience freedom from bondage and strongholds through biblical truth. The "Making It Personal" section at the end of each chapter to get readers to interact with and internalize the material, and that is definitely an added bonus. The book is a great tool for anyone committed to overcoming lies with God's truth.
About the Author
Helen B. McIntosh is a highly-demanded national speaker. She has been an educator for 19 years, and has a doctorate in Counseling Psychology. Dr. McIntosh is certified in Reality Therapy (RTC), is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), and is a National Board Certified Counselor (NBBBC). She is the inventor of The Peace RugÃÂ®, a national curriculum for conflict resolution. Additionally, she has taught Bible studies, Sunday School classes, and retreats for more than 30 years. She resides with her husband in Dalton, Georgia.
* I received a copy of the book from NetGalley for this honest review.
I got this book thinking that it would be on how to feel better about yourself, maybe some positive self-talk for people like me that don't really see what we want to when we look in the mirror... I don't know if it is just me or if maybe the title isn't as good as it could be for this book, but I was blown away by how wrong I was about this book! Messages to Myself is basically a God Encounter in 6 chapters! What is a God Encounter? Well, about every 6 weeks at our church we have a special weekend where we help people walk through steps and stages so that God can bring freedom to their life and they can grow closer to God through knowledge of His truth. It's an amazing process that includes sessions on "What's Your Name?", "God Still Speaks", "Forgiveness", "Wounds of the Past", "Breaking Down Strongholds" (lovingly referred to as "the yellow sheet" because of the color paper it is printed on) and so on... I was astounded as I started reading to realize that Helen McIntosh goes through many of these same stages and even has a section at the end of each chapter called Making It Personal that helps you start applying the process immediately in your own life. I have already recommended this book to the leaders of God Encounter at our church as a wonderful tool for participants to use at home as a follow-up of what they learn through the weekend. I strongly encourage you to get your hands on a copy of this book and start applying it, you may be surprised at how it could change your life!I don't think the title does this book justice for everything it actually holds in its pages, everyone needs a copy of this book.
Like so many women, and men for that matter, I have had to endure my fair share of people teasing me and criticizing me for any number of reasons. Not only was this my experience growing up, but even as an adult I have had to deal with this type of person. It really does make it difficult to not believe what others say, when you have to hear it over and over in your head. It may take only a moment to say something hurtful, but it can take a lifetime to heal from it. Helen B. McIntosh has written a wonderfully helpful book to help heal and restore a positive self-image. In this interactive, biblically based book, McIntosh offers help to those who have been hurt by negative self-talk. I really like the truth chart that Dr. McIntosh includes in Messages to Myself. I recognized a lot of myself on the thinking side of the chart, but I was reassured and help by the truth side of the chart. This book is written in a sensitive and encouraging tone that was easy to read and easy to follow. The Make It Personal pages at the end of each chapter are helpful because they encourage the reader to think about the questions asked. There are also prayers and Bible verses for added guidance. I highly recommend Messages to Myself as a helpful resource to find some peace from a negative self-image.