The Benefits of Talking To Yourself
By Pastor J.D. Link
Philemon 1:6 – “That the communication of thy faith may become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus.” Web. 1828 Dict. Defines “beneficial” as: advantageous; conferring benefits; useful; profitable; helpful; contributing to a valuable end. “That the communication” – sharing, fellowship, communion, benefaction (act of conferring a benefit; kindness, favor, Blessing); “Of thy faith” – belief, conviction, the Gospel truth itself; “May become” – cause to be, be fulfilled; “Effective” – active, operative, full of power; “By acknowledging” – recognizing, discerning, having the correct knowledge; “Every good thing” – pleasant, agreeable, joyful, happy, excellent, upright, honorable; “That is in you” – – in a fixed position; A primary preposition denoting (fixed) position (in place, time or state). “In Christ Jesus” – All of who Jesus is, abiding within you.
So then, Philm 6 may be expounded on like this, “That you may effectively and actively share and confer the benefit of your faith in Christ by recognizing and discerning every good, excellent, righteous and honorable thing which, in a fixed position, dwells in you by Christ Jesus.” How can we “acknowledge”? How do we know what to say, in order for our faith to be a blessing; to be active; to be effective – both to ourselves and to others? We must look into the mirror of God’s Word (Jam 1:23-25, 2Cor 3:18).
As an unbeliever, when we first look into God’s Word, it shows us our ugliness. That we are unrighteous, unholy, lost, clothed in filthiness, unpleasing to God, full of iniquity and headed for eternal destruction. It shows us we are sinners in need of salvation. Then, we have a choice. We can choose to humble ourselves, repent and believe on Jesus for forgiveness of sins and eternal life. Or, we can continue on our highway to Hell. However, if we will choose Jesus, our reflection in the mirror starts getting better as we look into it.
As a born-again Christian, when we look into the mirror of God’s Word, we start to see who we truly are – what we have become – in Christ Jesus. We start seeing the reality of who we are in the spirit. It’s called renewing the mind (Rom 12:2), and it brings transformation and change from glory to glory. When we see this beautiful image being reflected back at us (our spirit in union with Jesus), it inspires us to be conformed to it (in soul and body). It gives hope and peace and joy.
What do we see? We see we are righteous, sanctified, holy, forgiven, healed, redeemed, given eternal life, at peace with God, reconciled to Him, His child, His beloved, provided for, given His Holy Spirit, and a host of other things, all through faith in Jesus. Then, when we see these things, we speak these things.
We all talk to ourselves all the time, if only in our minds. The only question is, what are we saying? Are we speaking to ourselves the eternal truth of God’s Word; or lies, fear and circumstances? We do not deny that in our flesh dwells no good thing (Rom 7:18), but we dwell on, meditate in and confess what the mirror of the Word says we are in Christ. We should both think on and speak the eternal, spiritual truth. This will cause faith to soar and fear to depart.
King David talked to himself. He said, ‘Why are you cast down, oh my soul? Why are you troubled? Hope in God!” (Ps 42:5). “Praise the Lord, oh my soul” (Ps 146:1). “Bless the Lord, oh my soul” (Ps 104:1). “Wait upon God, oh my soul” (Ps 62:5). “My soul knows well, Thy marvelous works” (Ps 139:14). “Return unto thy rest, oh my soul” (Ps 116:7). See also Lam 3:24, Isa 61:10, Ps 16:2. We are to talk to ourselves. We are to speak God’s truth to ourselves. This is the remedy for discouragement, depression, and all things associated with wrong thinking and speaking.
A great Psalm to read out loud, especially when discouraged and thinking negatively, is Ps 103. It begins – and ends – with talking to yourself. “Bless the Lord, oh my soul! All that is within me, bless His holy name! Don’t forget all of His benefits!”. Then he goes on to list many of those benefits the Lord has bestowed upon him. It is a pattern for us to live by. There is no victory in complaining. Victory is speaking the truth of who we are in Christ Jesus. This is how faith becomes effective. This is what brings forth the desired fruit. Selah