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Talking to Self

by on August 19, 2014


Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my savior and my God.

Psalm 42.11

One of the interesting side effects of blue tooth devices is walking by someone who at first glance seems to be talking to themselves, sometimes very animated. Then you see the device in their ear and you realize they are actually talking to another person. Most of us at some time practice ‘self-talk’, and while it may not be verbal we can still interact with ourselves maybe while trying to make a decision. There also are times where you may speak out loud to yourself while contemplating something as well.

As you read the Psalms and poetry section of the Bible you encounter the authors speaking to themselves as they contemplate God’s presence and work in their lives. In Psalm 42:11 the author directly queries himself “Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed with me?” It is a question, a challenge and in a sense a plea to God. His concern is that his soul and spirit are discouraged, maybe depressed and in a difficult place. This is an interesting bit of ‘self-talk’ especially since we believe he was inspired by God to write this since it is in the Bible. Maybe you can identify with his situation of being ‘downcast’ and ‘disturbed’ in his soul as this is a very natural part of our human condition, we are all familiar with it.

The author of this Psalm (a son of Korah) not only records his conversation of despair but also the answer to his situation. Inspired by God he continues “Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.” It is interesting that he says ‘I will yet praise him’, does he mean he looks forward to a time at which he will again be able to praise God, or is this an affirmation he will praise him while going through his difficulty. Either way his self-conversation is truly the way to find peace while in the midst of difficulty. God is where his hope will be placed, God is his Savior and he has a personal relationship with his God. God is fully trustworthy to his word and promises and therefore the Psalmist can assure himself that God will always be there for him. Likewise our Lord Jesus Christ is our Lord, he is our helper and will always be there for his own. If you find that you are reminding yourself of your difficult situations remember to include the conversation with yourself that God is your God, a very present help in the time of trouble.

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