Ever talk to yourself?
If so, what do you say?
What can you say to yourself to talk yourself out of the doldrums?
Consider this advice from British scholar Alec Motyer:
“’Talking to yourself,’ we used to say, ‘is the first sign of madness.’ Far from it, rather it’s an important sign of Christian commonsense—depending, of course, on what we are saying to ourselves. Paul puts it another way
when he says that we are transformed by the renewing of our mind (Romans 12:2)—and, of course, the mind is only renewed by thinking of new and renewing topics. If we talk to ourselves about worldly things we develop a worldly mind; if we focus on things above we develop a heavenly mind (Colossians 3:1-2). We can cultivate the mind of the flesh or the mind of the Spirit (Romans 8:6). Every thought entertained disposes our minds in that direction. It matters what we talk to ourselves about! And today, in particular, what do we say to ourselves when things go from bad to worse and despondency takes over? The natural tendency—and if often seems strong beyond resistance—is to ‘retire hurt’, and moan to ourselves how terrible and unfair life is, to ‘chew the fat’. Go that way and despondency feeds on itself, and deepens and darkens by the minute. Don’t do it, Isaiah would counsel us. Feed your mind on the promises of God, tell yourself all He has pledged to do, hold on to His Word. Look at the four promises in today’s passage [Isaiah 4914-50:3]: He never forgets us (v14-16); He will increase His church (v17-23); He will give it victory over the world (v24-26); and He will ransom us from every alien power (50:1-3). Somewhere in that list you can position yourself in every situation. The Lord’s therapy is to bring us, by means of His Word, pondered and understood, out of depression and the downcast face (Luke 24:17) into the burning heart, the buoyant step, and the assured testimony (Luke 24:32-35).”
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