“My heart is breaking as I remember how it used to be.”
Psalm 42:4, NLT
The Psalms are a classic examples of self-encouragement.
The writer sometimes gave into moments of depression and he would often write encouraging words to uplift his spirit. Today these have become verses or scriptures for us to study and emulate. Read Psalm 42. It is somewhat an unusual portion of scripture, in as the writer addresses his/her own soul. That alone makes it different. But if we think it out, we become aware of an awesome truth.
“I suggest that the main trouble in this whole matter of spiritual depression in a sense is this, that we allow our self to talk to us instead of talking to our self . . .
Take those thoughts that come to you the moment you wake up in the morning. You have not originated them, but they start talking to you, they bring back the problems of yesterday, etc. Somebody is talking. Who is talking to you? Your self is talking to you.
Now this man’s treatment was this; instead of allowing this self to talk to him, he starts talking to himself. ‘Why art thou cast down, O my soul?‘ he asks. His soul had been depressing him, crushing him. So he stands up and says: ‘Self, listen for moment, I will speak to you.’
Do you know what I mean? If you do not, you have had but little experience . . . We must stand up as this man did and say: ‘Why are you cast down? Why are you disquieted within me?’ . . . instead of listening placidly to him and allowing him to drag you down and depress you. For that is what he will always do if you allow him to be in control.”
D. M. Jones, Spiritual Depression: Its Causes and Cure
When I allow myself to indulge in anger, impatience, worry, or pride I open an entrance for Satan to visit my life and run rampant through my mind. He doesn’t have to scheme, plan or even deceive me. He walks right in and scatters my self-centered emotions all over the place.
Notice the flow– My impatience inevitably leads to irritation; irritation turns to anger. Anger seems to lead to hatred. Satan just keeps bringing more and more situations and circumstances in my life with the intention of wreaking havoc with the ‘fruit of the spirit.’ In our weakened state, our hearts are left open to even more assaults. After being attacked over and over we risk becoming again shackled into the chains of spiritual slavery.
“He who has no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down and without walls.”
The Bible clearly teaches us that we are responsible for our behavior.
As believers we simply don’t have the luxury to allow depressive ‘self-talk’ to go on unedited and unchallenged. If we think about it, as those prone to depression and mental illness, we must take a stand! A depressive bout can really harm us (and others) unless we resist it. If we don’t it will only get worse. We end up hurting others and destroying ourselves.
Talking to yourself isn’t for ‘whackos,’ rather it’s one way of resisting the darkness for the believer.