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When I Can’t Self-Talk the Gospel

At Self Talk the Gospel we believe in the transformative power of the good news of Jesus 14539728175_f58412a951_oChrist. The Bible tells us, “For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God” (1 Cor. 1:18). We believe this—we believe the gospel is the very power of God at work in regenerated hearts bringing about true restoration. Since the power for change lies in this message, we know we need to preach it to ourselves on a daily basis.

I wholeheartedly affirm this conviction. I believe in the power of the gospel to affect change in my life. I believe God uses the gospel to bring about healing to broken individuals like myself. And I believe we need to preach these glorious truths to ourselves on a daily basis.

But—sometimes I can’t do it…I can’t preach the gospel to myself.

Despite my knowledge of the gospel and my passion for preaching it, there are moments when my faith is too weak to speak it aloud. There are days I wake up knowing I need to preach it to myself but I literally can’t. There are seasons when I’m so overcome with spiritual lethargy or fear or depression or anxiety that choosing to believe the gospel seems beyond my metaphorical reach.

Do you resonate with this reality? Are there moments in your life when everything inside of you wants to believe the truths of the gospel, but you can’t even muster up the strength to preach them to yourself?

 

Have you ever been so depressed you couldn’t believe in God’s infinite goodness?

 

Have you ever been so depressed you couldn’t believe in God’s infinite goodness?

Have you ever been so afraid you couldn’t trust in God’s sovereign rule?

Have you ever been so ashamed you couldn’t believe in God’s lavish grace?

Have you ever been so broken you couldn’t believe in God’s restorative power?

In seasons such as these, it’s difficult to preach the gospel to ourselves. I’m not saying we shouldn’t try–we should! But sometimes we will face great barriers. There will be days when our faith falters and our hearts grow cold. There will be times when we’re too weary to fight the fight of faith. There will be moments when the lies are so pervasive and our fear so stubborn, we’ll get lost in the fog of unbelief.

So what should we do when we can’t self-talk the gospel?

Turn to someone who can.

God’s covenant community is to be a community of faith that actively speaks the truth of God’s word into each other’s lives. The New Testament commands this in several places (emphasis added):

“…speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up every way into him who is the head, into Christ” (Eph. 4:15).

“Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another” (Eph. 4:25).

“…addressing one another (or “speaking to one another”) in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs…” (Eph. 5:19).

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom…” (Col. 3:16).

 

God’s covenant community is to be a community of faith that actively speaks the truth of God’s word into each other’s lives.

 

Those who put their faith in Jesus are now a part of this community of grace and truth. Together we’ve been called to one faith and share in one hope. And it’s this common hope we have in the gospel which binds our hearts in unity and causes us to be brothers and sisters in the same family.

And sometimes we need a sister or brother to speak the word of truth into our hearts when we cannot speak it ourselves.

We need someone who has a glorious vision of God’s goodness to come alongside us in our doubt and unbelief and administer the truth of the gospel to our souls. Essentially, we need someone to believe the gospel on our behalf and preach it to us when we are unable to do so. 

Recently, I was speaking to a godly sister in Christ who was struggling to believe that eternity with Jesus in the new heavens and earth will be better than this life. Her unbelief produced a sense of anxiety and fear regarding death, and life after death. Ironically, that week God had given me a fresh sense of excitement about eternal life. I was able to share my future hope in Jesus’ second coming with her. In her moment of doubt, I believed it for her and then spoke it into her heart. At the end, she said something that struck me as profound. It was along the lines of, “Thanks, I just needed to hear someone talk about Jesus in a real way and speak the truth for me.”

 

Despite our individualistic instincts we need the community of faith speaking truth and grace into our hearts when we can’t speak it ourselves.

 

There is great power when a believer comes alongside a sister in her unbelief and speaks the truth in love. Then that sister goes to another believer freshly encouraged and does the same. Christians–we need this! Despite our individualistic instincts we need the community of faith speaking truth and grace into our hearts when we can’t speak it ourselves.

We need others who will love us enough to tell us God is a good Father, He sent His Son Jesus to die for our sins, He reconciled us to Himself through Christ’s precious blood, He adopted us into His family as sons, He gave us the seal of His Spirit guaranteeing our full redemption, and He is in the process of making all things new. Isn’t that what we need to hear most when unbelief paralyzes us?

Today, if you are in a place where you can’t self talk the gospel, you must turn to someone who can.

Ask a believer to speak the gospel to you. Ask her (or him) to tell you about God’s goodness. Ask her to persuade you of the lavish grace you’ve received in Christ. Ask her to read Scripture to you. Ask her to sing your favorite psalm or hymn to you. Ask her to believe on your behalf until your belief is strengthened. And then, as you find your faith strengthened, go to another deteriorating, downtrodden believer and begin to speak those same truths into her. This year, let’s become a community that intentionally speaks the gospel into one another’s lives.

“…speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up every way into him who is the head, into Christ” (Eph. 4:15).

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Image Credit: Lulu Lovering, Creative Commons


Whitney Woollard

About

Whitney Woollard has served in ministry alongside her husband Neal for over seven years. She is most passionate about equipping others to read and study God’s Word well, resulting in maturing affections for Christ and a growing understanding of his gospel message. She enjoys drinking coffee, reading theology, talking about Jesus, being outside, going on runs, and spending time with family. Neal and Whitney currently live in Portland, OR where they love serving and supporting the local church.


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