The Art of Preaching to Yourself

Preaching to yourself – the act of continually facing up to your own sinfulness and then fleeing to Jesus through faith in His shed blood and righteous life.  –Jerry Bridges, The Discipline of Grace

We talk to ourselves.  It is true!


We would do well, instead, to follow the example of David given to us in Psalm 42:5-6 —

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.

My soul is cast down within me;
    therefore I remember you
from the land of Jordan and of Hermon,
    from Mount Mizar.

Notice that at the beginning of verse five, David is talking to himself.  But before we even reach verse six, He engages in the act of taking his thoughts captive by moving from listening mode to talking mode.

When we find our soul cast down or our thoughts running amuck, we would do well to follow David’s example.

“But me?”

You might be thinking.

“Preach to myself?  I don’t have a degree in theology.  I’m no preacher.  I don’t begin to know how to preach.”

The truth is… anyone, absolutely anyone, can preach to themselves.  It’s simply a matter of “sitting yourself down,” capturing your own attention, and saying, “Hey, soul, LISTEN UP!  Here’s the TRUTH….”

What do you preach?

The TRUTH of the GOSPEL!


Now, in order to EFFECTIVELY preach the gospel to ourselves, it is true that our lives must be saturated with it.  And to be saturated with the gospel, means we keep it front and center.

We can saturate our lives with Scripture by:

  • Engaging with It (Reading it thoughtfully, memorizing it, studying it)
  • Praying Scripture
  • Singing Scripture and the message of the gospel
  • Studying the Gospel (Reading gospel focused books)
  • Remembering – Which is simply reviewing how the gospel has affected your life (Much as Paul did in 1 Timothy 1:12-17)

“There is simply no other way to compete with the forebodings of my conscience, the condemnings of my heart and the lies of the world in the devil than to overwhelm such things with daily rehearsings of the Gospel. There is indeed simply no other way.”   — Milton Vincent


This week, may you begin to take those toxic thoughts in your head (those lies) captive by practicing the Art of Preaching to Yourself.

  • Recognize the lie/s you are telling yourself.
  • STOP.
  • Begin to speak Truth to your soul.

4 comments on “The Art of Preaching to Yourself

  1. I do this sometimes. It works just as well as when others talk to me and sometimes it works better. Like when I was weighed down with sadness, I began to remind myself that, “I owe it to the Lord and I to be as happy as I can be.”

    • Thank you, Edith, for sharing. I agree that talking to yourself intentionally works wonders!! Truth-filled mantras such as, “It won’t always be like it is today,” or “Jesus, turn my eyes to you,” are one great way to do this.

  2. “Recognize the lie/s you are telling yourself.
    Begin to speak Truth to your soul.” Amen to this! Thanks for the reminder. I’m your neighbor at #TestimonyTuesday. Blessings to you!

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