Psychologists call our outer person our persona or personage, the part that is known to self and others. We pay a lot of attention on our outer person, mindful of how others are looking at us. In an attempt to buff up the outer person, many of us would neglect the growth of our inner person. Paul says earlier that although our outer persons are wasting away, there must be a renewal of the inner person.
The first step in caring for your inner person is to look honestly inside at what is going on there. Here Paul reveals to us his inner world of turmoil caused by what happened to him at the time. He openly shared his inner thoughts with the Corinthian believers about how he was concerned with the oppression they were under, namely the false apostles enslaving them and taking advantage of them. On top of that, Paul had to wrestle with the slanders received, the physical sufferings he had to endure, the burdens he had on his heart about the churches, the daily pressure and the anxiety he was experiencing. All in all, he felt weak and only could boast of his weaknesses.
When you open up your heart, what do you see? Are you enduring stress, pressure, anxiety or fear at this moment? Do you know of your real condition before the Lord? Do you know what to do with those feelings? David has shown us a way: talk to yourself. Self-talk is not a psychological ploy but a real necessity. We all need to tell our mind how to think instead of let our thoughts lead us. We must bring our thoughts to the obedience of Christ or they can become strongholds for the enemy. As our spirit is open to the Holy Spirit, we can instruct our soul. This is how our thinking, feeling and willing can be Spirit-controlled.
David speaks to his own soul: “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy name.” When he does not feel like praising God and when things are heavy on his mind, he turns his soul towards God. He gathers his soul (his thinking, feeling and decision-making) and all that is within him to look upwards in worship and praise. After that, he admonishes his soul to gather up all the memories of the benefits he had received from the Lord. Then he counted the blessings including the forgiveness of sin, the healing of diseases, the saving of his life from the pit, the crowning of him with love and mercy and the goodness that satisfied him.
God’s throne is established on the praises of His people, as we begin to praise and give thanks, God is present. The goal of our self-talk is not merely internal, we must invite God’s presence and when He is present, our whole person will be blessed. Your youth could be renewed like the eagle’s as you look to Him in praise and thanksgiving. Focus on Him now, He takes care of all your problems.
Ps 103:1-5 Isa 6:1-7:25 2 Cor 11:16-33 Prov 23:1-3