Talking to yourself is said by some to be the first sign of madness; to others, it is a ‘recognised means to learn.’ (Kilroy J. Oldster) I tend to think that all of us talk to ourselves more than we realise. We may not talk outloud, but there is a dialogue going on within our minds every day.
The Bible acknowledges this self-talk and reminds us that sometimes we need to give ourselves a good talking-to! Often, these conversations are addressed to our inner self: ‘Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me?’ (Ps 42:5)
In the Message version of Ps 116, this is taken further: ‘I said to myself, “Relax and rest. God has showered you with blessings. Soul, you’ve been rescued from death. Eye, you’ve been rescued from tears. And you, Foot, were kept from stumbling.”‘ (Ps 116:7-8, The Message)
Talking to ourselves is helpful if we question our motivation and moods and speak truth into our lives. Sometimes we need to dig deeper into our reactions or remind ourselves of the truth of who God is. This kind of conversation keeps us on track, within the parallel lines of truth. It’s only when we stray outside of these tracklines that we find ourselves derailed by our conversations!