My 6th book in the #EmptyShelf Challenge is Crash the Chatterbox: Hearing God’s Voice Above All Others by Steven Furtick (Multnomah, 2013) Furtick is the pastor of Elevation Church in Charlotte, NC. The primary purpose of Crash the Chatterbox is helping you become aware of the lies you say to yourself and the lies we listen to, and learning how to listen to truth from God.
What is “the chatterbox”? It is the lies of condemnation, fear, and discouragement that we tell ourselves and hear from the Deceiver. It is logorrhea from the Enemy. I know that some people feel powerless to ignore these words, but Furtick said, correctly, that “God has given us the ability to choose the dialogue we believe and respond to.”1
Crash the Chatterbox presents strategies for making that choice, shutting down this noise, and tuning to the voice of truth. Furtick shared from his experience that “I’m learning how to overpower the shouts of the Enemy by bending my ear to the whisper of God’s supernatural truths about my identity in Him and His strength in me.”2 This book is largely his sharing of the journey he is taking to overcome the chatterbox.
Furtick’s message is pertinent. All believers experience this tireless attack from the Enemy who seeks to derail our journey of faith using lies from the chatterbox. Furtick’s strategy for helping readers deal with this is a four-part book:
- God says I am: Overpowering the lies of the Enemy in your insecurities
- God says He will: Overpowering the lies of the Enemy in your fears
- God says He has: Overpowering the lies of the Enemy in your condemnation
- God says I can: Overpowering the lies of the Enemy in your discouragement
Each section contains three chapters with engaging (and sometimes funny) stories, frank confessions from Furtick’s own struggle with the chatterbox, and scripturally-grounded truths and strategies.
Furtick is successful in what he set out to do with Crash the Chatterbox. While its organization isn’t always clear (I wasn’t sure why some chapters were in one section and not another), this is offset by an engaging and witty writing style. After reading the book, I found myself more aware of the chatterbox voices in my life and trying to listen more to the Truth.
One discussion I found particularly helpful is his treatment of what he calls “The Jezebel Effect.” Referring to the story of Elijah in I Kings, Furtick expertly breaks down that story for interesting insights into how Satan gets into our minds and uses voices like Jezebel’s to increase the intensity of Satan’s attack “until they deafen your spirit to God’s reassurance.”3 This is what happens when you can’t sleep at night because you wrestle with problems beyond your control, process imaginary conversations, and plan out actions based on supposed situations.
This noisiness of lies is the Jezebel Effect and Furtick helps you understand that God’s voice is very quiet. It is still. It doesn’t even try to compete with the “noise” in our lives. It is the quiet, still voice that says, “The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life, of whom shall I be afraid?” (Psalm 27:1, NIV). If we make the choice to listen to the quiet, still voice, the noise, the chatterbox, fades away.
In many ways, this book is similar in purpose to another book I recently reviewed: Change Your Questions. However, that is largely a humanistic approach (although not overtly anti-Christian). This book rests squarely on God’s Word.
I have two caveats to share about Crash the Chatterbox. First, Furtick deals with some topics that might be better addressed with professional help. He assumes an audience that is relatively healthy, both mentally and emotionally. Anyone struggling with paralyzing fears or anxieties, for example, may not find that this book goes deep enough for those needs without the help of a professional counselor.
My second caveat is that, while I do not know the details of the situation, Steven Furtick’s leadership of Elevation Church has recently been called into question regarding the church’s leadership culture and some personal choices. I note these points here only to say that my endorsement of this book should not be construed as an endorsement of Furtick’s church leadership or personal life.
Should you read this book? For most people, I think so. It is a fast and fun read. I found it very helpful and practical. It is scripturally sound and relevant.
I received a free copy of this book from the publisher to conduct this review.
For more on the #EmptyShelf Challenge see my original article on this topic.
1: Furtick, Steven. Crash the Chatterbox: Hearing God’s Voice Above All Others. Colorado, CO: Multnomah, 2014. p. 4.
2: Furtick, p. 5.
3: Furtick, p. 99.
Dr. Scott Yorkovich is a leadership coach and consultant. He works with individuals, small and medium organizations, and ministries. Contact him at ScottYorkovich[at]LeadStrategic.com with your questions.