“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?” – Martyn Lloyd-Jones
Every day we wake up in the morning, we are hit right away with our own thoughts. We start listening to our minds as we analyze the current day, reflect on the previous day, think on our dreams, or process how tired we are. Numerous items start to flood our brains with thoughts that can paralyze us (and often do) if we sit around and think on them all day long.
“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 42:5-6)
Even in Scripture we see here that there is turmoil within us. There is an inner war happening with what our sinful flesh is telling us and what the Holy Spirit is telling us. How many times do you continue to doubt your salvation? How often do you tell yourself that you are not good enough? What about when you talk yourself out of sharing the love of Christ with someone? Do you get discouraged? Feel miserable? Think you are weak?
There are so many ways Satan wants to attack us. Our sinfulness also wants to speak up and have us listen to ourselves instead of preaching the Gospel to ourselves. It’s mentioned above that there is “hope in God” and that “we shall again praise Him, for our salvation.” This is why we must talk to ourselves instead of listening to ourselves. We must remind ourselves (and others) of the Gospel. We need to hope in God and praise Him for our salvation. We must never lose the need of the Cross, rather grow in continued awareness of our sinfulness and God’s holiness.
Think about it here for a minute. I’m a sinner. It’s a fact. I’m not justified in any sinful actions that I still commit today, but the reality is I am going to continue to fall short of being perfect. I am going to sin. I can respond to sin in two different ways:
1. Listen To Myself Proclaiming Just How Sinful I Am
Hear myself state things like “How could you be a believer?” or “You think you can write a post about Jesus? You are the biggest sinner in the world” or “You don’t really believe in Jesus, otherwise you wouldn’t still sin.”
2. Remind Myself Of The Gospel
Preach that to myself. Tell myself and my thoughts that what Jesus did on the Cross was enough. That He even paid the price for that recent sin. Tell myself with God’s Word to confess and repent towards God.
The more I tell myself of the Gospel and the goodness of Christ, the more I am inclined to be obedient to His word which would include having a desire to stay far away from sin. If I were to only listen to myself, I would be a miserable and doubting person who would not treat Jesus with the honor that He deserves. When I only listen to myself, I am telling God what Jesus did on the Cross was not enough.
Here are some things you can do that will point you in the right direction of talking to yourself instead of only listening to yourself:
- Read The Bible Daily
- Memorize Scripture To Recite In Everyday Moments
- Have Consistent Prayer Time With God
- Join Your Local Church
- Have Friends or Mentors Pour Into You
- Pour Into Others Yourself
- Serve Within Your Community
I promise you by implementing any of these into your daily lifestyle, which I would suggest go for all of them, it will make a huge difference in your life. Our biggest flaw is that we listen as we put ourselves down and put others down. We must remind ourselves that for those who follow Christ, we are God’s children. We are His kids! He loves us. He’s already forgiven us. He disciplines us and grows us only because He loves us. The simple fact we go through hard times at all, just shows even more how much God loves us (James 1:2-4).
As you go about the rest of the day or as you wake up first thing in the morning, stand up and tell yourself that you have something to say before you listen to anything, and let the Bible do the talking.