Do you talk to yourself?
Do you talk to yourself?
Yes, you do talk to yourself! You and I talk to ourselves a lot daily and maybe minute by minute. Actually no one is more influential in your life than you are. You interpret, organize and
analyze what is going on inside you and outside of you. You talk to yourself about the past ,present and the future. What you talk to yourself about says a lot about you and shapes your desires, actions and theology (Deuteronomy 7:17-19. 8:17-18, 9:4-5).
What are you saying to yourself about God, your circumstances and people? Do your internal words promote faith, hope and love? Or is your talk to yourself—self-talk? Does your self-talk promote doubt, discouragement or fear? Do you remind yourself God is near, or because of hard circumstances do you reason and talk as if God is distant? Psalm 42 reveals an internal conversation that David has with himself, and you can be much like him. Listen to David’s heart talk as he reflects on being exiled in the wilderness, running for his life from King Saul, being taunted as an enemy and thinking he is a long way from Israel and the tabernacle worship:
“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” (Psalm 42:5).
This talking to yourself is crucial to your worship of God and life! Notice Psalm 42:5 speaks of you being sad, despondent or depressed as a believer. You are “cast down” and have “turmoil” inside you. Self-talk reigns supreme in Psalm 42:5a. Listen to Lloyd Jones who is spot on about his analysis of Psalm 42:5:
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 there they are, talking to you. They bring back the problem of yesterday. Somebody’s talking. Who’s talking? Your self is talking to you. Now this man’s treatment in Psalm 42 was this: instead of allowing this self to talk to him, he starts talking to himself, “Why are you 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.” (Spiritual Depression, p. 20-21).
David begins, like you should, to listen and make an analysis of what is controlling him at the heart level. You, like him, should begin to cut self-talk of hopelessness at the pass and direct your internal conversation to the God of all hope.
So, David begins an internal conservation about God and hope in Psalm 42:5b. “Hope in God, for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.” When hardship strikes which could include grieving over a loved one, being physically or sexually abused, having received news of a terminal illness or facing sarcasm for your faith, you are to direct your thinking to hope in God.
What does hopelessness sound like in a believer’s life? Too often it can sound like an unbeliever talking. “I am not ready for a death or the hurt of being sinned against.” “Poor me, here I am trying to serve the Lord and look what happened.” “I am really angry at _____.” “If I had only done this. I should have said this or that.” “This is not fair, Lord.”
To get out of hopeless self-talk, you will need to talk to yourself about the God of all hope. God ties himself to hope. What is hope? A biblical definition of hope is your confident expectation that God will deliver on His promises. For David in the wilderness, it seemed as if God would not deliver on His promise for him to be king over Israel. Biblically based hope gets beyond a hope-so or coping approach to life. While David waited to be king, he had to wait for his God to deliver on his promise. This waiting aspect carved something into his character.
You see when you wait like David on God’s promises as a believer, God is not getting back at you; He rather is using the adversity to get you back to Him. That’s where David was in the beginning of this psalm—he starts in his desperation to reach out to satisfy and refresh his soul with the living God. Psalm 42:1 says: “As a deer pants for flowing streams so pants my soul for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.”
When you read through Psalm 42, you notice David going in and out of sadness. He talks to himself about being “cast down,” but he turns to talking to himself about God and hope. This may be you as you face your struggles in life. One moment you talk to yourself with despair, yet you turn your thinking to God to regain hope. How does David regain hope? He declares: “I remember you.” Like David, you will need to remember some things about your God’s character that will help you persevere in life for His honor and glory!
What should you remember about your God?
His presence and power are seen and understood through His creation (Psalm 42:6-7). Creation reminds you how much you need to remember. His character helps you persevere in life for His honor and glory. Creation reminds us of His creative power and that nothing can get the best of Him. Circumstances, people or nations cannot stop God getting His glory done in your life. Another way to remember your God is through His grace. His lovingkindness is seen and on display night and day through your songs and prayers (Psalm 42:8). How you sing and pray should reflect your strong confidence in a gracious and helpful God concerning the ups and downs of life. Your God’s steadfastness and faithfulness is yet again a way to remember Him. This will make you not to be shaken in your faith (Psalm 42:9). You will see how much you need Him and how building your life on “the Rock” creates stability despite things moving around you. The last way you remember your God is by seeing Him as Savior and God. Nothing shall separate you from the love of Christ (Psalm 42:5, 11; Romans 8:35, 38-39). This will give you assurance in God for his present and future work in you.
So, the next time you sense you are talking to yourself, stop and think what you are talking to yourself about. If you examine yourself talking with hopelessness and despair, stop yourself dead in your tracks and begin to direct your heart talk to your Great and Gracious God!