“O My Soul”: Engaging in Biblical Self-Talk

Psychologists speak of self-talk, the art of telling yourself certain things that influence your attitude, actions and speech. For instance, Deborah said to herself, “O my soul, march on in strength!” (Judges 5:21).

Every time the psalmists used the phrase, “O my soul,” they were engaging in self-talk. We all talk to ourselves. Whether or not this is a good practice depends largely on what we are saying, and whether it is true and helpful.

I love these thoughts from our dear friend Joni Eareckson Tada:

There are very few days when my soul does not require a good 'talking to.' On most mornings when pain encroaches, I demand my soul to come into alignment with the Holy Spirit; I order it to stand at attention and take orders from God for the day; that it rejoice in the day that's been made by its Creator; that it ascribe to a holy purpose for living; that it quit being sullen, and be hopeful in Jesus; and that it rejoice in the Lord, for therein lies its strength! Sometimes quadriplegia is just plain tiring—add to it chronic pain, and it can wear on the soul. It's why (when I deal with pain) I often pray, "Why are you downcast , O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God" (Psalm 42:11). …join me in urging your soul to find its solace, comfort, and encouragement in Jesus Christ!

Those who, like Joni, ponder God’s Word and make it the substance of what they say to themselves will find their minds refreshed and renewed, even in the midst of difficult and trying circumstances. Feeding on God’s thoughts gives nourishment and joy. Such a well-fed and well-exercised mind will become a repository of worship, thanksgiving and praise, which will overflow into conversations, breathing in joy from our Lord, and breathing out praise to him. A life saturated in the Bible will in turn infuse others with an eternal perspective and the very happiness of God. 

“Bless the LORD, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name! Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits” (Psalm 103:1-2).

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Randy Alcorn (@randyalcorn) is the author of over sixty books and the founder and director of Eternal Perspective Ministries