Things We Tell Ourselves

“Every day you preach to yourself a gospel of your loneliness, inability, and lack of resources or you faithfully preach to yourself the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.” – Paul David Tripp


Every day we preach to ourselves some kind of gospel, whether a false “I can’t do this” gospel, or the true “I have all I need in Christ” gospel. Here’s the thing: No one is more influential in your life than you are because no one talks to you more than you do. It’s a fact that you and I are in an endless conversation with ourselves. Most of us have learned that it’s best not to move our lips because people will think we’re crazy, but we never stop talking to ourselves.

In this inner discussion, we’re always talking about God, life, others, and ourselves. The things we say to ourselves are very important because they are formative of the things we desire, choose, say and do. Luke 6:45 says, “For out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks.” (BLB) What have you been saying to you? What have you been saying to you about yourself? What have you been saying to you about God? What have you been saying to you about life, meaning and purpose, right and wrong, true and false, good and bad? What have you planted in your own heart?

In Psalm 42, we are invited to eavesdrop on a man’s private sermon. Like us, the psalmist was always preaching some kind of message to himself. We either preach to ourselves a gospel of lonliness, poverty, and instability, or the true gospel of God’s presence, power, and constant provision. We can preach to ourselves a gospel that produces fear and timidity, or one that propels us forward with courage and hope. Shall we convince ourselves God is distant, passive, and uncaring, or that He is is near, caring, and active. We talk to ourselves about a gospel that causes us to rest in God’s wisdom, or a gospel that produces panic because it seems as if there are no answers to be found.

Today, when it feels as if no one understands, what gospel will you preach to you? As you face physical sickness, the loss of a job, or the disloyalty of a friend, what message will you bring to you? When you are tempted to give way to despondency or fear, what will you say to you? When life seems hard and unfair, what gospel will you preach to you? When parenting or marriage seems difficult and overwhelming, what will you share with you? When your dreams elude your grasp, what will you say to you? When you face a disease you thought you’d never face, what gospel will you preach to you?

It really is true: No one talks to you more than you.

Tripp, P. (2014). New Morning Mercies: A Daily Gospel Devotional. Wheaton, IL: Crossway

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