Do you talk to yourself?
What if I told you that talking to yourself is not only Biblical but helpful as well? In our world, seeing someone talking to herself or himself can be a bit unsettling. Personally, I tend to go the other way if I see someone talking to himself. It’s weird, and I wonder if, at times, I’ve misjudged these folks. If I have misjudged, I wouldn’t be the first. Here’s the story of a woman in the Bible named Hannah. ”And it happened, as she continued praying before the Lord, that Eli watched her mouth. Now Hannah spoke in her heart; only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard. Therefore Eli thought she was drunk. So Eli said to her, “How long will you be drunk? Put your wine away from you!” (1 Samuel 1:12-14) Hannah wasn’t actually talking to herself, and she, sure enough, wasn’t drunk. She was PRAYING! Eli, the priest, had thoroughly misjudged the situation. Still, we see that even thousands of years ago in a completely different culture, talking to oneself was frowned upon.
Maybe it’s a creative person thing, but David, the (musician) King, who wrote most of the Psalms, talked to himself a lot. In fact, we even sing some of the phrases from David’s songs in Church today.
For example, in Psalm 103 David talks to himself saying, “Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me bless His holy name!” This is David telling his soul (and everything in him) to bless the Lord! Throughout this Psalm, David tells himself (his soul) a few more things, like: “Hey soul, don’t forget all His (God’s) benefits, namely, that He forgives all your sin, heals all your diseases, redeems your life from destruction, crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies, and satisfies your mouth with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagles.”
Some have said that the soul of a person is the mind, will, and emotions. It’s our soul that gets depressed and sad, and sometimes we need to speak to it. By speaking the truth out loud, we can actually talk ourselves right out of the pit of depression. Now, that’s great news!
Here’s an example of David doing just that. It’s found in Psalm 43:5. After he prays to God, he asks his own soul a few questions, “Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why are you disturbed within me? Hope in (wait for) God, for I shall still praise Him, the help of my countenance and my God.” David is giving his soul the “what-for.” He’s asking himself why he’s depressed, then he reminds himself that God is faithful, that He can be trusted, and to wait for Him because He will show up. Finally, he tells his soul to keep praising God, to make himself smile, and to keep going to God for help. When we seem to be in a pit, it’s good to remind OURSELVES (out loud if necessary) of the reality of God’s goodness, faithfulness, power, presence, and love.
In one of my favorite verses of all time, Lamentations 3:21, Jeremiah, aka the Weeping Prophet, says this: “Surely my soul remembers and is bowed down within me. This I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope. The LORD’S loving-kindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail, they are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.” (Lam. 3:20-23)
You see, it’s the soul part of us that sometimes needs a talking to, and many times we have to be the ones to do it. Really, it’s most effective to encourage ourselves because only we really know just how bad it can get on the inside of us. We can hide from other people, but we can’t hide from our own soul. So, go ahead, talk to yourself. It’s good for you, and it could just save your life.
Just one thing, though, make sure you tell your soul the truth from God’s Word because you can talk yourself into the pit by lying, just as easily as you can talk yourself out of it. If things are tough in your soul, speak to it, and Help Yourself.
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