Self-talk and God-talk: Thoughts on turning monologue into dialogue

Do you talk to your self? Do you talk to God? Do you do a little of both? Is your life a running monologue or a running diaologue?

I was helped by David Powlison's thoughts on this in his chapter called "Suffering and Psalm 119" in Speaking Truth in Love. Here are a few brief excerpts:

Psalm 119 is the most extensive I-to-you conversation in the Bible.

The various words for the Word appear once in each verse, but I-you words appear about four times per verse. That's a 4:1 ratio and emphasis.

So Psalm 119 is actually not about the topic of getting Scripture into your life. Instead, it is the honest words that erupt when what God says gets into you. It's not an exhortation to Bible study; it's an outcry of faith.

This passage really aims to rescript the inner logic and intentionality of your heart. The Lord says who he is, and is who he says. The Lord says what he does, and does what he says. Faith listens, experiences what is true, and talks back in simple sentences.

Our self-help culture is preoccupied with 'self-talk.' Does what you say to yourself cheer you up or tear you down? Do you say, 'I'm a valid person and I can stand up for myself,' or 'I'm so stupid and I always fail'? Entire systems of counseling revolve around reconstructing self-talk so you'll be happier and more productive. But Psalm 119 gets you out of the monologue business entirely. It gets you talking with the Person whose opinion finally matters.

The problem with self-talk is that we aren't talking to anyone but ourselves. A conversation ought to be taking place, but we repress our awareness of the Person who threatens our self-fascination.

So, how's your self-talk? No. Wrong question. How's your God-talk? How's the dialogue between you and your Creator-Redeemer today? What is he saying to you and what are you saying to him?



This is the most important conversation of your life.

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