How to Develop the Habit of Preaching the Truth to Yourself

Last week, we explored the Spiritual Discipline of Preaching the Truth to Yourself. In addition to defining the Discipline, we made some important discoveries.

  1. We talk to ourselves – constantly.
  2. Much of that talk is neutral, but some of it is powerfully destructive.
  3. It’s to our benefit to learn to recognize the destructive talk, stop listening to it immediately, and begin Preaching the Truth of God’s Word to Ourselves.

Recognize. Stop. Preach.

This all sounds good. Right?

But of course, if we are honest with ourselves, we must admit that this is not our natural inclination. Our tendency, our bent is to focus on our circumstances.

Preaching the Truth to Ourselves (especially responsively) is not easy. We certainly cannot develop the habit on our own. We need some help and some guidance.

The first step in developing the habit of Preaching Truth to Yourself is to invite the Holy Spirit in. Ask Him to nudge you when your inner dialogue becomes destructive. Plead for the opening of your spiritual eyes and ears so you will become aware of the Holy Spirit’s presence and work in your life. Pray that you will be conscious of the dialogue taking place in your inner self.

Then…

To effectively Preach the Truth to Ourselves (whether preemptively or responsively), our lives must be saturated with Scripture. This means we must keep God’s Word front and center.

  • Engage with the Scripture. (Read it thoughtfully. Memorize it. Study it.)
  • Pray Scripture.
  • Sing Scripture and the message of the Gospel.
  • Read Gospel focused books.
  • Remember. Review God’s mighty deeds recorded in the Bible. Review how the Gospel has affected your life. (Much as Paul did in 1 Timothy 1:12-17.)

The Bible tells us that the life we are living right now is a direct reflection of our thoughts, or our inner dialogue. 

“As a [wo]man thinks, so is [s]he.”

Proverbs 23:7 (KJV)

We live in a fallen, broken world. What we know is often tested by our circumstances. Life pushes back on our theology. Just like Asaph (Psalm 73), we must push back on life with the Truth of God’s Word.

This is when Preaching the Truth to Ourselves is most critical.  When things are not lining up. When life is pushing back, and circumstances are hard. In fact, this is precisely when we need to hear Truth.