Pastor Steve Cornell at his Wisdom for Life blog recently posted some great quotes from D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones’ book Spiritual Depression. Read his original post, repeated below, at Spiritual Depression.
Quote # 1: Talking to Ourselves Is Good!
“I say we must talk to ourselves instead of allowing ‘ourselves’ to talk to us. Do you know what that means? I suggest that the whole trouble of spiritual depression in a sense is this, that we allow ourselves to talk to us instead of talking to our selves.
Am I just trying to be deliberately paradoxical? Far from it. This is the very essence of wisdom in this matter. 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?
Take those thoughts that come to you when you wake up in the morning. You have not originated them but they start talking to you, they bring back the problems of yesterday, etc. Somebody is talking. Who is talking to you? Yourself is talking to you.
Now this man’s (David in Psalm 42:5, 11) treatment is this: instead of allowing this self to talk to him, he starts talking to himself. ‘Why art thou cast down, oh my soul?’ he asks. His soul has been depressing him, crushing him. So he stands up and says: ‘Self listen for a moment and I will speak to you.’”
Quote # 2: The Art of Spiritual Living
“The whole art in spiritual living is knowing how to handle yourself. You have to take yourself in hand, address yourself, preach to yourself, question yourself.
You must say ‘Why art thou cast down? What business do you have to be disquieted?’ You must turn on yourself, upbraid yourself, condemn yourself, exhort yourself and say to yourself ‘Put your hope in God!’ – instead of muttering in this depressed and unhappy way.
And then you must go on to remind yourself of God, Who God is, What God is and What God has done and What God has pledged Himself to do. Then, having done that, end on this great note – defy yourself and defy other people and defy the devil and the whole world and say with this man, ‘I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance and my God.’”
The Biblical Context: Psalm 42:1-6
“As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?
My tears have been my food day and night, while men say to me all day long, ‘Where is your God?’
These things I remember as I pour out my soul: how I used to go with the multitude, leading the procession to the house of God, with shouts of joy and thanksgiving among the festive throng.
Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him my Savior and my God.”
Join the Conversation
How would your spiritual life change if you began “talking to yourself” instead of “listening to yourself”?