“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?”
So said one of the great preachers of the 20th century, David Martyn-Lloyd Jones. He goes on to explain: “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 problem of yesterday, etc. Somebody is talking. Who is talking to you? Your self is talking to you” (Spiritual Depression, 20).
He’s exactly right. Our mind is continually filled with self talk. Often, the voice in our head is disheartening: our troubles and failures, the people who annoy us, problems in the news, stuff like that. How much better to take control of our thoughts and actively talk to ourselves rather than passively listening to ourselves. Notice how intentional these psalmists are about their inner dialogue:
Psalm 42:5 Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.
Psalm 77:11-12 I will remember the deeds of the LORD; yes, I will remember your wonders of old. I will ponder all your work, and meditate on your mighty deeds.
This is one crucial reason we want the gospel to be the main subject of our congregational meetings every Sunday. What better theme for our self talk than this: “Jesus died for my sin”? What will strengthen our joy and preserve our peace better than the cross of Christ, where God displayed His love for us in spite of our unworthiness? What can produce a faith that is deeper and silence the accusations of a guilty conscience faster than thoughts of the Savior who paid our debt and reconciled us to God? What better to talk to yourself about than how God defeated your darkness, broke your bondage, forgave your sins, washed your heart, silenced your conscience, purchased your freedom, resolved your past, satisfied His Law, pronounced His verdict, secured your inheritance, and made you His beloved forever.
We want you to enjoy cross-centered self talk every day; so the recurring refrain of our congregational meetings will be Jesus Christ and Him crucified.