Preach to Yourself
One morning when I woke up, Chris was on the couch with his Bible. It was obvious he had not been for his morning run, and when I asked how he was, he muttered something like, I’m an idiot. He told me he couldn’t get it together, kept dozing off and was frustrated with the way his day was starting. Later, on the same day, I was battling thoughts of one of my children being overlooked for something I thought she should have gotten attention for; while I knew I had to shake the feelings, they were a constant attack.
Have you had someone tell you to “preach the gospel to yourself?” Did you think that sounds great, and I would if I knew what you meant? Preaching the gospel to yourself means pointing yourself to the truth, but we have to know what’s true to be able to speak what’s true. Truth is found in Christ.
What does it look like specifically? I can tell you what we did on this particular day: This is what Chris said to himself. (I know because I asked him). There is no condemnation in Christ. My value is not determined by what I do or do not do. My identity is based on what Christ has already done for me. For myself, I continued to say, I am not of this world. I don’t belong here. In the grand scheme of eternity, this does not matter. God knows better than what I think she needs. We have to dispel lies with the truth. Preach. Gospel.
What if that doesn’t work? Some days, I’ll be honest — it’s not enough. That’s why we were never meant to go it alone. We have to be in community. We have to have others speaking the gospel into our lives. When the lies are too strong, I call others and have them remind me of what is true.
This is not an exhaustive explanation of speaking the gospel to yourself. I do not want to over-simplify something as magnificent as the gospel of Christ. I merely want to give an example of how we handled one day of replacing lies with truth.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Phil. 4:8
Thoughts? Do you have others resources/links/books, etc. that help explain what it means to preach the gospel to yourself?