The Bible is a book of wise counsel. It speaks about the benefit of obtaining counsel from others. But it also instructs us to counsel ourselves.
David had his advisors, but He chose to counsel himself. First, he asked himself diagnostic questions, “Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me?” (Ps. 42:5). His inquiry was to the deepest part of his being. He asked himself why he was depressed, and why his soul was in turmoil. But then he quickly moved from listening to himself to speaking to himself, “Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance”. He commanded himself to hope in God. He gave his own soul reasons to praise instead of wallowing in self-pity. He prophesied that that his joy would be restored, and God’s smile would return. He knew that depression and oppression were only temporary states of mind. With boldness and candor he spoke to himself. His own voice provided the broader perspective which he desperately needed.
David told himself what he needed to hear. Face this fact, you know yourself better than anybody else. Very few of your acquaintances and friends will have the courage to tell you what you really need to hear. Even fewer will invest the time and energy to accurately assess your condition. So it is your responsibility to confront, and counsel yourself. It is not healthy to bully, badger, or blister yourself; but it is appropriate to tell yourself precisely what you need to hear. Words have power, and your soul needs to hear from you. Use your own voice to speak truth to your own soul.
How To Counsel Yourself
- CONFRONT yourself. Don’t give yourself a pass when it comes to wrong thinking. Arrest renegade thoughts the moment they enter. Use your voice and audibly speak what you need to hear. Address yourself plainly.
- INTERROGATE yourself. Ask yourself “hard questions”. Questioning your motives should be a brief exercise to avoid morbid introspection. But David asked questions of himself, and so should we.
- DEMOLISH “strongholds”—patterns of sinful thoughts (2 Cor. 10:4). Go after these mental beachheads with a vengeance. You have powerful weapons—use them. Your pattern of thinking will never change without a battle. Be ruthless with your sinful thoughts.
- ADMONISH yourself. Don’t curse or belittle yourself. Extend a measure of grace when reprimanding yourself. Imitate David when he commanded himself to “hope in God.” Tell yourself what to do.
- ENFORCE the victory Christ has provided. You already have the mind of Christ (1 Cor. 2:16), so claim it.
- RENEW daily. Your mind (Rom. 12:2) and inner man (Col. 3:10) need continual, divine refreshing. Visit the secret place every morning.
Your emotions are your Servant, not your Master. Instead of listening to the litany of sniveling, griping, self-defeat, self-indulgence, and self-pity emanating from your soul; start counseling yourself by telling yourself the Truth.
“Life and death are in the power of the tongue” (Prov. 18:21). Your breakthrough begins in your mouth. Satan’s lies are no match for God’s truth. Displace wrong thinking by speaking LIFE… to yourself!