At every wedding I channel Jerry Bridges: “preach the gospel to yourself every day.” I believe talking to ourselves is not a habit to break, but a discipline to cultivate. In Spiritual Depression Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones suggested that we Christians often “…allow our self to talk to us instead of talking to our self. He asks, 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? I remember the “WOW!” that echoed in my stunned silence the first time I read those lines. I am better at listening to/endorsing my natural inclinations than bringing supernatural truth to bear on them.
Note to Self–Joe Thorn’s book on preaching to yourself, gives you a tool for doing what Bridges suggests, and makes much of Lloyd-Jones’ warning. It’s the perfect book for your quiet time with each devotional just about a page and a half. It’s written by you, to you. But I think you’ll agree that most chapters have the eerily familiar voice of the Holy Spirit. Which explains why it seems as if someone’s been reading your mail.
Too often you let your sin anchor you in place. You do not move beyond it or even see beyond it. In some cases this turns into a form of self-pity when you are grieved by your sin, but not so deeply that you are moved to repent and discover joy in your salvation. You feel victimized, defeated and beyond help. In some ways that actually relieves you of a sense of responsibility. After all, what could you have done?
Now that’s talking to yourself! At April’s Gospel Coalition conference I picked up copies of this for all the staff and elders. Ask one of them what they thought.