Recently I’ve been in the process of reading through an excellent little book titled Humility by C.J. Mahaney. Going into it I was pretty sure that I had this humility thing down pat, so there wouldn’t be much I could learn from this book. (Ha-ha! That was a joke.) I was wrong.
I unearthed a profound thought that I wanted to share with you. Mahaney quotes Martin Lloyd – Jones from his book Spiritual Depression:
“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?”
Wow. I’ve thought a lot about that. The idea being addressed is that we need to take control of the thoughts we allow in our mind. On a daily basis I entertain thoughts that are negative, self-defeating, discouraging, and downright sinful. These thoughts color my attitudes, which in turn influence my actions, which in turn dictate my very demeanor. I listen to my own stupid, sinful self-speak and I get pulled down.
The encouragement that both Mahaney and Martin Lloyd – Jones gives is that I must instead speak truth into my own life. I need to articulate what I know to be true about God: he loves me, he is in control, he can provide for me, he can strengthen me, and his grace is sufficient for me. I also need to articulate that I am completely dependent upon him; he is God, and I am not!
This is especially true for me first thing in the morning. When I get up I usually feel pretty bad; I stumble into the shower grumbling and groaning and often start my day off on the wrong foot. Just in the last week it is made such a difference for me to instead begin my day by talking to myself! Telling myself what I know about God and that I make the choice to submit myself to him.
This is, in fact, the biblical admonition given in Philippians 4:8 -
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.”
That is what I intend to do! I’m tired of listening to myself – from now on I’m going to talk to myself!
I highly recommend it.