Archive for March 7, 2012

Mar 7

Help for Preaching to Yourself

2012 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Sermon Follow-Up

In Sunday’s message, “How to Really Talk to Yourself,” Ryan preached on the subject of preaching to ourselves from Psalm 42 and 43. In the course of his message, he mentioned two resources.

Here’s the quote Ryan read from a book by Martin Lloyd Jones, Spiritual Depression: Its Causes and Its Cure:

The first thing we have to learn is [that] we must learn to take ourselves in hand. This man was not content just to lie down and commiserate with himself. He does something about it, he takes himself in hand. This man turns to himself and says: “Why art thou cast down O my soul, why art thou disquieted within me?” He is talking to himself, he is addressing himself.

. . .I say that we must talk to ourselves instead of allowing “ourselves” to talk to us! Do you realize what this means? . . .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 the moment 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? Your self is talking to you. Now man’s treatment was this; instead of allowing this self to talk to him, he starts talking to himself. “Why art thou cast down, O my soul?” he asks. His soul has been depressing him, crushing him. So he stands up and says: “Self, listen for a moment, I will speak to you.”

. . . You must say to your soul: “Why art thou cast down? – what business have you to be disquieted?” You must turn on yourself, upbraid yourself, condemn yourself, exhort yourself, and say to yourself: “Hope thou in God” – instead of muttering in this depressed, unhappy way. And then you must go on to remind yourself of God, Who God is, and what God is and what God has done, and what God has pledged Himself to do.

. . .The essence of this matter is to understand that this self of ours, this other man within us, has got to be handled. Do not listen to him; turn on him; speak to him; condemn him; upbraid him; exhort him; encourage him; remind him of what you know, instead of listening placidly to him and allowing him to drag you down and depress you.

Ryan also mentioned a helpful book by Joe Thorn, Note to Self: The Discipline of Preaching to Yourself. This book is comprised of short chapters, each several pages long and focused on an important matter for self-preaching. The chapters in this book fall along three sections, “The Gospel and God,”  “The Gospel and Others,” and “The Gospel and You.” Chapter titles are self explanatory: “Sing,” “Give Thanks,” “God Does Not Answer to You,” “Love Your Wife,” “Forgive,” and “Stop Complaining.” And that’s just a sample of the forty-eight chapters that make up this helpful little resource.

Neither of these books are available in our Resource Center, but both are available at Amazon here and here.