"Have you realized that most of your unhappiness in life is due to the fact that you are listening to yourself instead of talking to yourself?"
-Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Spiritual Depression
I've been feeling depressed lately and I'm not quite sure why. If I have to think of reasons, I usually chalk it up to the fact that I weaned my daughter from breastfeeding last week and am experience the...ahem...return of fertility. So my poor hormones have been quite out of whack. Or maybe I need to jazz up my routine of diapering, feeding, cooking, cleaning, etc. Or maybe I need another cup of coffee? Or a haircut? At any rate, these are no excuses (or remedies!) to going around feeling mopey all day, so I decided I needed to to something about it (besides, my dear husband said he would pinch me if I didn't snap out of it.) I found a great sermon on desiringgod.org about finding joy in God and after listening to it, I feel much better and more determined. Piper gives two practical steps to finding joy in God: prayer and preaching to yourself. The above quote was in the footnotes of the sermon if you want to check it out.
I've been returning again and again to the practice of preaching to myself. I am always willing to pray, but preaching to myself is a new idea for me. I so often become a passive listener of the voices in my head, and the result often is depressing. The thoughts tell me that I am not enough in many different ways or encourage me towards materialism, resentment, bitterness and other poisons of the soul. So why do I choose to listen to them? Because I think they're true. I think that if only I had certain things or were a certain way, life would be better. But time and time again...that doesn't prove to be true! Circumstances and life changes in ways I want it to, and I am still not satisfied. It's time for that to change.
It's time for me to be more aggressive about my own thought life and really begin finding my worth in the Gospel instead of trying to find joy in my circumstances, productivity, appearance, etc. It's time to tear down those idols and foolish desires and find my joy in God! So if you catch me talking to myself with worship songs, Scriptures or other means in these next few days (or for the rest of my life!) just know that I am trying to follow Mr. Lloyd-Jones' advice...and if you're feeling down in the dumps, you should try it too!