Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Fight the black & white: How to change dangerous thought patterns

By Erika Rizkallah

Red is the universal color of danger but among the suffering, black and white can be dangerous as well.

Don't get me wrong. I love black and white - on clothing, accessories and especially photography. Some of my favorite patterns are black and white . . .

                                                                   Zebra - oh so chic!

                                                     Houndstooth - so nice for purses and jackets.

But black and white doesn't pair well with our psyche or thought life. This thinking pattern can drag us down into the miry pits of despair and hopelessness. Once we've fallen into that trap, it can take years of retraining or therapy to get us out.

And trust me, the enemy of our souls is waiting to trap us.

How do we know if we're in danger? Fortunately for us, B & W thinking comes with its own language.
                            Look for the words: Always, Never, & Should

Some examples of black and white thinking are:

I'll always be sick.
I'll never be able to dance again.
I should get out of bed and clean the house.

Life is a complex mix of colors and there are many shades of gray. Embrace the gray!

Making declarative statements is a part of American culture. Instead, we can train ourselves out of this habit. We can say things like:

                                          Today I'll make the healthiest choices for me.
                                          I hope to dance again one day.
                                          I'll rest now, and work around the house tomorrow.

Whatever you do, fight against the tendency to despair. Don't let the enemy gain any ground.

Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8

What B & W words can you remove today?


  1. This is so good. I see an article, 30 day devotional, or maybe a book! Great title. Keep ministering and giving comfort with the comfort you are given. God is using you. Go girl!

  2. This is a really good post, Erika. I'm with Andy, you could expand it in so many ways. i was drawn to the title because of my own black and white thinking. Thanks for sharing and for food for thought.

    1. Thanks for the comments Andy & Kim, I'm thinking maybe they will go into a chapter of my book!