Sometimes It's Necessary to Talk to Yourself
Matthew 6:25-26 (NKJV)
"Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?
I remember reading this verse as a kid and thinking about it in light of my school. In my elementary years I would worry about my teachers not liking me enough to give me the grade I imagined that I deserved on my writing assignments. In those days I really believed I was the best writer in my classroom but if my teacher scored my work below an ‘A’ it was because she had something against me. So I would be diligent to work hard on every masterpiece I created. It was an original. I would proofread, fix any spelling and punctuation errors and then proofread again. It was like gold refined by fire. My mom would purchase for me the perfect folder complete with brads and a clear plastic cover to display my work of art. The more I worked on it the more impressed I was. Yet no matter how great I thought my work was, I was always afraid my teacher thought of me otherwise. So I worried.
Worry is a strange thing. Coupled with a creative imagination we often find ourselves creating the worst of scenarios no matter what our age or situation. I don’t know about you but do you ever notice that we never seem to worry about everything going right?! We don’t. Instead we worry what will happen when everything goes wrong. It’s like a self preservation mechanism preparing us for the worst. And yet, even if the ‘worst’ happens, we still have no idea what we would really do. Which leads to fretting. So we replay and rehearse different scenarios over and over trying to come up with some sort of solution. We try to remain positive, but the thoughts begin to overwhelm our time and energy. Soon we find that worry has no answers and no one there to help. Soon our thoughts are consumed, our peace, our hope and eventually our health.
Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, But a good word makes it glad.
I thought this verse was interesting. If left to run its course, worry leads to depression. Depression defined is the compilation of the feeling of sadness, loss of interest and severe despondency. In other words it’s when you’ve played out all of the mental scenarios and there’s no way out. It’s realizing that the thing you’ve feared is now coming upon you and that all hope is lost. Worry becomes the new reality. For those who’ve experienced it, you know what I mean. There’s nothing like that feeling. But the good thing is that this verse doesn’t end there. It goes on to say that a good word makes the heart glad. It’s as though gladness found in a good word has the ability to begin lifting the weight of depression. Our hearts long to hear something good. In the Hebrew the verse is better defined as the heart needing to hear a beautiful, loving and cheerful word. To me that’s a lot different than a ‘feel good’ word. It means it’s a heart word. The kind of word we need to hear. The kind of word that those around who love us do not need to hold back from speaking. It’s the kind of word you find in the Bible. A word that opens up the chambers of the heart as though Jesus is speaking directly to you. Sometimes it may be the kind of word you need to say to yourself.
“Self, this isn’t going to play out as bad as we think. We can do this. We are not going under!”
So often we need to hear ourselves say this. Whether we’re turning in essays or facing monumental life or death situations, worry cannot be given the freedom to run its course. That means that if there’s nobody around us who can say it, then our heart needs to hear us say it. That’s right. Sometimes it’s necessary to talk to yourself out loud. King David did it. He was facing mutiny from his followers, death threats and the pending loss of his entire family. With nobody around to encourage him, he did it for himself.
1 Samuel 30:6 (The Living Bible)
6 David was seriously worried, for in their bitter grief for their children, his men began talking of killing him. But David took strength from the Lord.
He was in what looked to be a hopeless situation. But when David spoke to himself something miraculous happened. He got his strength back. Then he got his purpose and his vision back. All because he was willing to speak one good word.
We can do this!