Sad but Stubborn: Talk to Your Soul

“Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.” (Psalm 42:5)

Do you ever talk to yourself? I don’t mean muttering incoherently while you walk around downtown in your bathrobe. I mean really talking to your “soul,” as the writer of this song so eloquently describes it.

sad_350I took up the habit of intentionally talking to myself a few years ago after thinking through this psalm. It’s not a new-agey kind of thing where I’m trying to get in touch with my lost inner child or something. It’s just an exercise in self-control – one aspect of the fruit of the Spirit. It’s a technique for saying to my emotions, my desires, my wandering heart, “Look, I refuse to slip all of the way into despair (or lust or distraction); this is how it’s going to be. Remember what’s true.”

And that led this writer back to worship. He said to himself, “Why are you so upset? Hope in God! You’re not done praising him. He is the Savior. He will save you.”

Think: What do you need to remind your soul about today? What will keep you from taking control of your heart and trusting it to God?

Pray: Ask God for the self-control to put your hope in him, to remind yourself of the truth.

Do: Ask a friend or two if they ever tell themselves what to do as a way of taking control of their emotions. Does it work for them?