Soul Detox: Toxic Behaviors


Soul Detox: Toxic Behaviors

What we think, what we say, and what we do — they all affect our relationships more than we realize and more than we want to believe.  Our behaviors affect our relationship with God and with other people.  And because that’s true, we must rid ourselves of the toxic waste that damages us and those around us.

These are my sermon notes from March 10, 2013.  I wish to thank Pastor Craig Groeschel for writing the book, Soul Detox, which largely inspired this message.


Your thoughts determine who you become

Luke 6:45: “The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings things out of the evil stored up in his heart.”

(note: you are with yourself more than any other person, therefore, you will influence yourself more than anyone else will influence you.  What consumes your thoughts?  I’m no good.  I’m a failure.  I never get a break.  God could never love me.  No one could ever love me.  I’m too bad to do anything good.  I can never be forgiven.  I wish “so-and-so” would get what they deserve.  Whatever you are thinking, will influence your attitude and your relationships.  Your toxic thoughts can block you from God’s blessings of relationship with Him and with others.)

Toxic waste:

Pessimism – chronically negative thoughts

Anxiety – fearful and worried thoughts

Bitterness – discontented and envious thoughts

Criticism – destructive judgmental thoughts

The Antidote to Toxic Thoughts:

Philippians 4:7-8: “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.”

(note: God’s Word can change our way of thinking.  It actually can change what we think!  It takes practice.  It takes unlearning what we’ve taught ourselves and learning a new way of controlling our minds.  But, our minds can be “renewed” day by day.)


(note: What we say out loud is a reflection of what is in our hearts.  If our language is course, harsh, mean and starts conflict, then that is what is really in our heart.  Toxic language doesn’t just affect us negatively (by reinforcing the negative evil inside of us) but it affects others negatively as well.)

“Words which do not give the light of Christ increase the darkness” – Mother Teresa

note: language is harmful because it spreads darkness

Proverbs 12:18: “Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.”

Proverbs 15:4: “The tongue that brings healing is a tree of life, but a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit.”

note:  words are powerful.  It takes 5 positive things to make up for just 1 negative thing said to a person.  And, that just makes you even!

The Antidote for Toxic Language:

Hold what is harmful – note: it is hard to hold are tongue and times, but wise to do so.  Think before you speak.  Count to 100 if you have to.  If it isn’t positive, it isn’t worth saying.

Release what is positive – note:  it’s not enough to just keep from saying the toxic things.  Again, words are powerful.  They can change a person’s mood, beliefs, outlook, feelings, attitude.  We must seek to be encouraging and uplifting with our words.  Be helpful not hurtful.  See blog post:  Is Your Speech Refuse or Refuge?


David and Uriah – note: summary of the story of King David and Uriah from 2 Samuel

The Pattern of Hidden Sin:

Hide – note: try to hide your sin by deleting or throwing away or isolating self

Lie and Deflect – note: try to deflect your sin by claiming mistaken identity, covering up for someone else, just a misunderstanding.

Blame – note: your sin is actually someone else’s fault.  “I wouldn’t be this way, or I wouldn’t have done this if ___ had not been that way or if ____ was different.”

Luke 8:17: “For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open.”

(note: all sin comes out eventually because what is inside of us is us.)

The Antidote to Hidden Sin:

Repentance – note: repent means to turn toward what is highest.  It is different from remorse or regret (sorry I got caught, or sorry I am in this situation).

1 John 1:9: “If we confess our sings, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

(note: we confess to God because it frees us for relationship with him fully.  We acknowledge our wrong and turn toward what is right).

Confession to Another

James 5:16: “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.  The prayer of a righteousness man is powerful and effective.”

(note: we confess to others so that we take responsibility for our actions and so we may feel the power of relationship in reality in spite of our shortcomings.  We also confess for prayer because it is powerful.  We also confess for accountability for the future.)

3 responses to “Soul Detox: Toxic Behaviors

  1. I love Philippians 4:7-8. I try to use it (not nearly enough) to combat anything that might enter my mind that takes my focus off of Christ and all the blessings that come from a relationship with Him. We give the guys we mentor at the prison a memory verse each week, and this was one of them just a couple of months ago. Admittedly I don’t always commit the verse to my own memory, but this is one that stuck with me because it helps keep the negativeness I’m around on a daily basis at bay.
    David Weaver

    • Negativeness abounds. The only sure way that I have ever found to combat it is to rely on “memorized Word” and “freshly read Word”. Keep at it in the prisons – you are making a difference. – B

  2. Pingback: the power of language: beyond blame to health and wealth | power of language blog: partnering with reality by JR Fibonacci

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