Why Christians should preach to themselves

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David Wayne, who is about to begin chemotherapy for Stage 4 metastatic colon cancer, posted this excerpt by the late pastor and author D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, writing about Psalm 43:

Have you realized that most of your unhappiness in life is due to the fact 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 originated them, but they start talking to you, they bring back the problems of yesterday, etc.

Somebody is talking. Who is talking? Your self is talking to you. Now this man's treatment was this; instead of allowing this self to talk to him, he starts talking to himself. "Why art 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 ..."

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 art thou 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."

So a Christian should talk to himself. Not just talk, but upbraid, exhort, and defy himself to believe what God says about Himself and about those who put their hope in Christ.

Jared Wilson summarizes it by saying Christians need to preach the gospel to ourselves. He offers this quote from Colin Smith:

About 90% of a pastor's job is reminding himself & others of the gospel. The other 10% is answering the phone & stuff.

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3 Comments

Yogi Author Profile Page said:

Great post to start the day with.

Pamela Author Profile Page said:

1 Samuel 30:6 came to mind: And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God.

Michael,

this is a great post. I completely agree with this. It brings to rememberance other scriptures like "Death and Life are in the Power of the Tongue".

Thank you for posting this. It came at a crucial time for me!

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on January 22, 2009 11:55 PM.

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