Talk to Yourself
Remember when talking to yourself was weird. You might be saying "Lance, it is weird. Get with the program. You know you walk through the mall and there is someone on the bench with their lips moving. No one around. That's weird, right? A little strange. But what if I told you that talking to yourself is something you need to be trying out more.
What if I told you that if you are not talking to yourself, you are killing yourself?
What if the more silent you were when you are alone with yourself means you are in spiritual danger?
Author Paul Tripp says that you are the most important in your life because nobody talks you more than you do. And the words that we use when we speak can either bring life or death. When you stop and think about it, it is true. We are always speaking negatively about life, or complaining about our circumstances or listening to our feelings all day long. However, the most important thing we can be doing is preaching truth to ourselves. Truth that outweighs our feelings.
Nobody has said this better than Martyn Lloyd-Jones in his book Spiritual Depression. Lloyd-Jones was know as the Doctor in his day because he used to be a physician. However, he was also a wise spiritual doctor in knowing how to diagnose and treat the human heart.
This is one of the most helpful sections of any book I have read. Apply these words:
"I say that we must talk to ourselves instead of allowing 'ourselves' to talk to us. Do you realize what that means? I suggest that the main trouble in this whole matter of spiritual depression in a sense is this, that we allow our self to talk to us instead of talking to our self. Am I just trying to be deliberately paradoxical? Far from it. This is the very essense of wisdom in this matter. Have you realized that most of your unhappiness in life is due to the face that you are listening to yourself instead of talking to yourself? Take those thoughts that come to you the moment you wake up in the morning. you have not orignated them, but they start talking you, the bring back the problems of yesterday, etc. Somebody is talking. Who is talking to you? Your self is talking to you."
Then Lloyd-Jones starts giving you a better way than listening to yourself. He uses Psalm 42 to teach us how to speak to yourself. Here is the passage:
"Why are you cast down, O my soul,and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,my salvation and my God."
In light of this verse, here is Lloyd-Jones advice on how to talk to yourself:
"Now this man's treatment was this; instead of allowing this self to talk to him, he starts talking to himself. "Why are thou cast down, O my soul?' he asks. His soul had been depressing him, crushing him. So he stands up and says, "Self, listen for a moment, I will speak to you.' Do you know what I mean? If you do not, you have had but little experience.
"The main art in the matter of spiritual living is to know how to handle yourself. You have to take yourself in hand, you have to address yourself, preach to yourself, question yourself. you must say to your soul: 'Why are thous cast down' - what business have you to be disquieted? You must turn on yourself, upbraid yourself, condemn yourself, exhort yourself, and say to yourself: 'Hope thou in God' - instead of muttering in this depressed, unhappy way. And then you must go on to remind yourself of God, Who God is, and what God is and what God has done, and what God has pledged Himself to do. Then having done that, end on this great note: defy yourself, and defy other people, and defy the devil, and the whole world, and say with this man: 'I shall yet praise Him for the help of His countenance, who is also the health of my countenance and my God.'"
What great advice from the Doctor and we would be horrible patients not to apply it to our hearts. Let's quit listening to ourselves. Start addressing yourself. Begin to remind yourself of who your God is and what he has done and what he promises to do. And rest in truth over your feelings.
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