Influence. What are you telling yourself?

Relationship drives influence. In every sphere of life. How are you influencing yourself?

Another question: Do you talk to yourself more than you listen to yourself?

“No one is more influential in your life than you are because no one talks to you more than you do. You’re in an unending conversation with yourself. You’re thanking to yourself all the time, interpreting, organizing, and analyzing what’s going on inside you and around you.”
—Paul David Tripp, A Quest for More

“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?”
—D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Spiritual Depression

And by “talking to yourself,” we cannot mean just telling yourself positive thoughts or psych yourself up with messages to “stay positive!” That could be part of it, but no amount of positivism can overcome reality. What are you telling yourself that is true?

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
—Philippians 4:8-9



Ask yourself:

Does gratitude characterize your thoughts of God? Thankfulness is a good test of your faith. Its absence demonstrates that your faith is more lip service than experiential knowledge. Your days, whether easy or difficult, should be filled with thanksgiving because while life changes drastically, your God remains the same forever. He is constant — constantly good, loving, and faithful.”

—Joe Thorn, “Thanksgiving,” Note to Self, p. 44.

Note to Self: Jesus is Big.

From Note to Self:

Dear Self,

“The bigger and more biblical your understanding of who Jesus is, the more likely he is to be such an object of love and adoration that the idols that aim at capturing your attention and swaying your allegiance will lose their power. This is why you sometimes lack earnestness for the kingdom and the glory of God while you overflow with passion concerning temporal things. Instead of making a joyful noise and singing earnestly for the victory Christ has over sin and death, you express a dispassionate approval and mouth the words to the songs sung in worship. But there is often fire in your belly and shouts of joy when your favorite college football team is victorious over the competition. This is probably why the church is shrinking in North America—because small Jesus does not inspire awe, command respond, lead to worship, or compel us to talk of him (much less suffer for him). And small Jesus is too little to arrest the attention of the world.

So please remember—Jesus is bigger than you tend to think. He is the perfect revelation of God, the radiance of his glory, the exact imprint of his nature; he is the Creator and Sustainer of all that exists. Everything belongs to him and exists for him. He is the author of your salvation, the perfecter of your faith, and the only one in whom you can find life.”

—Joe Thorn, Note to Self: The Discipline of Preaching to Yourself, pp. 47-48.