Safari: How to overcome Anxiety by Parrotting Truth to Yourself

Parrot God’s Control to Yourself

Parrots repeat back to you what you tell them.  Worry is like that. Worry is a parrot telling you what you already know.  Things are bad… “Things are bad.”   I don’t know what tomorrow holds… “I don’t know what tomorrow holds.”   True.  We parrot worry, fear, anxiety back to ourselves.   But Jesus challenges the inner parrot we all have and asks us to parrot God’s control and concern to ourselves.  God wants to become our inner Parrot.

27 Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?28 “So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin;29 and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?31 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

Jesus gets so practical about worry.   He says, worry parrots back to us with several lies.  We think

1. Worrying makes us taller than God vs 27.

2. We think worrying will produce clothing.  vs 28

3. We think we can control tomorrow vs 30

Jesus says… Let’s get practical.

1. Worry doesn’t make you taller; it produces toil in us, and tries to control things beyond your ability (tomorrow).

2. God watches the birds, clothes the grass… so have faith he will take care of you.

 Perhaps you immediately find yourself objecting.  You know and have seen birds killed by predators, by accidents, or problems.  I was on my way home from Nashville last month.  As I mentioned to many of you in our last series, our Church produced a curriculum called FAST TRACK that takes you through the whole Bible, so I had just finished a week of shooting in studio and having a great time.  On the way home, I am in the far left lane, when a red Hawk swerves into my lane.  There is no time to turn or change lanes.   Next thing I know, He is smashed up against my grill with his wings open wide.   I pull over to the side assuming that the wind resistance is what is holding him there.  I assume that if I stop the car, he will “drop down” and be able to fly away… I was wrong.  This poor bird is alive, smashed into my grill, and looking at me with a look that says, “What did you do?!” and his eyes have the look of an animal.  We called 911 who sent a Hawk expert out to get him free. Amazingly, the bird man was there within 15 minutes.



Years ago, I did a series where I taught my “video projector” concept of how people think.  It is a visual version of what the Bible calls “soul talk” in Psalms and what Psychologists today call Cognitive therapy.  It’s a process of learning to Parrot truth to yourself.  It’s exactly what Jesus is talking about.  It’s a process of learning to not see our lives as ACTION-REACTION… Life flips a switch and we suddenly project worry, fear, anxiety, but instead realize that when our “switch is flipped,”  it turns on a series of reels, which then light up what we feel.  Our emotions respond to our thoughts.   Many of us have reels in our heads filled with lies: Lies and patterns from the past, our parents, or our culture.  We then play these reels and become BIRD BRAINS parroting the lies to ourselves

- I can’t handle anything else.

- If one more thing happens, I’ll just explode

- I am responsible for making others happy.

- I must know what will happen tomorrow.

- If I think about this enough, I can change the outcome

- If I worry about this, it will be better

- I know I can’t trust God or others, so I better handle this myself.

These are some of 1000’s of Parroting messages we send ourselves.   Bad news comes and flips our switch, we parrot these lies to ourselves, and then feel Angry, depressed, upset, irritable, and annoyed.     Those feelings burn holes in our stomachs with ulcers, and drill our emotions into the ground affecting our relationships and what is projected in our lives is “worry wart, control freak, anxious, bothered, etc.”

If we learn to Parrot Truth to ourselves, we switch reels, We begin to encounter the same bad circumstances with new truths.

- I don’t like this, but I also can’t control it.

- I don’t want more of this to happen, but if it does, God will give me strength

- I like it when people are happy, but I am not in charge of other’s feelings

- I can’t know what happens tomorrow, but I’ll do my best with what I know today.

-Worrying is destructive and an attempt to play God.  I’ll leave Him in charge of the universe

- I can trust God to handle the unknown better than me.

DO you see how these truths parroted to yourself turn on a light bulb of feelings that are not only less anxious, but hopeful, joyful, peaceful, and more freeing?



As you look at this week, I want you to pick one bird. one parrot that has kept you in bondage for years.  one worry, fearful, anxious message.   Pick one.   The one you know you hear chirping in your ears every day.  Then pick one truth and bird to parrot truth to you.   In fact, a great one is to take this passage from Jesus, in Matthew and write it out.  Place this on your mirror as you get ready in the morning.  Commit to Parrot this to yourself all day long.  And go bird hunting for any bird chirps that come against this.


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