Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Truthful Self-Talk

In his book The Good Nevi's About Worry, William Backus recommends "truthful self-talk." He tells about Hester, who wanted to spend time with her grandchildren in another city but was afraid to fly. Finally she began telling herself. "Hester, you are safer in a commercial plane than in a car. If it should crash, it will only land you in heaven. Buy that ticket and get going." Hester eventually boarded a plane and visited her grandchildren.

The writer of Psalm 42 engaged in a similar kind of self-talk. He was in the northern part of the country and could not go to the temple at Jerusalem where he longed to be a part of the worshiping community. The people around him did not share his yearning, and they taunted him. He was deeply despondent. But instead of giving up in despair, he told himself that circumstances would change (vv.5.11), and that God would make His presence felt by day and by night even in the north country (v.8). As he talked to himself about the truths of God's character, he was encouraged and strengthened.

Whenever you are downhearted, tell yourself: "God loves me, He saved me. He's in control, He'll take me to heaven." Truthful self-talk is a helpful antidote to depression. -HVL

O why art thou cast down. my soul.
And why so troubled shouldst thou be?
Hope thou in God. and Him extol.
Who gives His saying help to me. (Psalter)


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