"I count myself one of the number of those who write as they learn and learn as they write." ~St. Augustine

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Talk to yourself---but tell yourself the truth!

We sat across the table, our coffees cooling, and I couldn't help myself.  Some would call it "getting on my soap-box" or "preaching to the choir".  Almost half-aware, I just couldn't help myself.  I just had to tell her the Truth.  I was telling her who she was in Christ, who He was, and what His love meant for her.

When I paused for a breath, she smiled and said, "No one talks to me like this!"  

My immediate response was, "Well, then, you must talk to yourself like this!  Speak to your own soul!  David did it."

Reading this morning in Psalm 103, I was struck again at how much David "speaks to his soul."  He talks to himself. 

Do you ever talk to yourself?  I would probably off-the-cuff answer that question with a emphatic, "no".  I know people who talk to themselves... I have heard them in the other room.  But, I am just simply not that verbal.  When I am alone, I am quiet.  I even know people whose mouths move---just slightly and unconsciously---as they have an internal dialogue.  It is actually quite funny to witness this.  These people I am referring to are most assuredly not crazy.  It is simply that their mouth is displaying the action going on in the brain.  

But, yes, of course I talk to myself.  We all do.  All day, every day we talk to ourselves.  This is one of our brain's main functions.  In fact, our cerebellum is significantly larger than any other created animal because we do this "higher level thinking".  Animals do not.  We are always--and forever---working out problems, processing information, expecting the future, commanding our bodies, and discussing big ideas with ourselves.  Certainly that is one main function of our dreams, even as we sleep.  We are talking to ourselves.  

I am struck this morning at how important it is to tell ourselves the Truth.  We need to speak to our own souls, just as David did.  

Actually it makes me think of that memorable scene in the movie, While You Were Sleeping.  The main character, Lucy, says out loud---almost unconsciously--- "Oh! I was going to marry that man." (a man she had never met). A nurse, overhearing her comment, mistakes her self-talk as being reality and introduces Lucy to man's parents as his fiance.  Eventually when she comes clean of the misunderstanding, the nurse (who overheard) says, "Next time you talk to yourself.  Tell yourself you are single and end the conversation!"  

Sometimes I simply need to tell myself the truth and end the conversation. 

Is that what David is doing in Psalm 103?  What self-talk was going on in his head, I wonder, when he speaks to his soul, "Praise the Lord, O my soul!  Praise His holy name.  Forget not his benefits.  Praise the Lord, O my soul!"  The whole of the Psalm is filled with Truth after Truth after Truth.  He is proclaiming to His own soul, "This is who God is, this is who I am, this is what I have received from God..."

Or, in Psalm 42, what was going on within David when he says, "Why so downcast, O my soul?  Put your hope in God!"  He is commanding his own soul to trust God.  He stands on his own soap-box and speaks Truth to his own soul.  

So, this morning, me-alone-with-God, with my coffee cooling, I spoke Truth to my own soul.  "The Lord, Stephanie, is compassionate.  He is gracious and slow to anger.  Stephanie, your God is abounding in love!" 

What will you say to yourself today?

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