• Henry Haney

Stopping the Noise

“Worries are almost always expressed in the mind’s ear, not it’s eye—that is, in words, not images—a fact that has significance for controlling worry.”

Daniel Goleman

(Emotional Intelligence)

Who or what are you listening to?

Right now I can hear the noise of the air conditioner blasting a cool breeze through my house. Somewhere faintly mixed into that sound is some indiscernible music from my neighbor’s stereo. I am so used to hearing these sounds regularly when I am at home that I hardly notice them anymore.

For several years my wife and I lived in the coastal city of Carlsbad, CA. We rented a small cottage that was about a five minute walk away from the beach. It was a wonderful perk that was balanced by the fact that we were only a stone’s throw away from the train tracks. When we first moved in to the cottage I couldn’t believe how loud the train was. It shook our walls, frightened our cats and woke us up through out the night. Every time it screamed by our home I questioned how long we would be able to remain living there.

But a funny thing happened as the months and years went by. I actually got used to the sound. I got so used to it that after awhile I only ever really noticed it when it interrupted the television or a phone conversation. We learned to just hit pause and wait.

Earlier this year we moved from Carlsbad to the small rural town of Fallbrook, CA. One thing I noticed right away was that there were a lot of different sounds. During one of the first nights in our new home we were awakened to a choir of owls right outside our window. We laid awake in bed listening with smiles on our faces. It’s been fun to get used to the sounds of the surrounding wildlife all day and night.

So I’ll ask again.

Who or what are you listening to?

This time let’s go deeper. Let’s get past what we are hearing with our physical ears and let’s tune in to what we are listening to with the ears of our minds and the ears of our hearts. I believe that just like how we can get used to hearing things in the natural and over time not even notice them anymore, there are also recurring “sounds” (beliefs, worries, lies we have been told) that play over and over in our minds and hearts. We probably did notice them the first few times we heard them. Some of them probably caused initial pain or contributed to insecurity or anxiety in some way. However, as time goes on, if we don’t deal with these sounds they take up residence within us and become a part of who we are. We accept them and don’t even notice the influence they have on us.

Unfortunately, I have had several of these sounds wreak havoc throughout my life. A couple of years ago some friends led me through some inner healing that revealed a huge lie that had taken up residence in my heart and was causing me a lot of problems. I hadn’t even noticed it. It took the help of my friends and the guidance of the Holy Spirit to identity the lie and get rid of it. As soon as it was gone I could hear clearly again.

The Bible tells us in 2 Corinthians that we are to “take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ.” It’s important to remember that not every thought you have is actually yours. Sometimes things other people say, things you have read or things you have heard can get planted in your head or heart and start a cycle of damaging noise.

Other times it may even be more sinister. Demons, familiar spirits, or whatever else you want to call them are constantly whispering and trying to influence us. These whispers often disguise themselves as our own thoughts and if they don’t get taken captive and checked before given access they come right in and do damage. We not only need to take thoughts captive, we also need to make them obedient to Christ. In other words, if they don’t line up with what Jesus is saying, they need to go.

One more time.

Who or what are you listening to?

An easy way to tell if there are sounds repeating in your mind and heart that shouldn’t be there is by checking the fruit.

Worry isn’t a fruit of the Spirit.

Insecurity isn’t a fruit of the Spirit.

Entitlement isn’t a fruit of the Spirit.

Lust isn’t a fruit of the Spirit.

I could go on but I think you get the idea.

Get alone and ask the Holy Spirit to search your heart for any sounds need to be taken captive. Ask Him to help you hear the sounds that you may have previously tuned out or become used to. Once they’re identified ask Him to show you how to make those sounds obedient to Christ. This is repentance.

This can and should be a daily (sometimes moment by moment) process for us as followers of Jesus. And most of these issues can be easily dealt with and moved on from quickly. However, there are times when we need to reach out for help and guidance in identifying and breaking free from certain thoughts and patterns. Don’t be afraid to get help. Talk to a brother or sister in Christ, a pastor, a counselor or even someone who is trained in the process of inner healing. Whatever it takes. I promise it’s worth it.

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©2019 by Henry Haney.