Am I Crazy If I Talk To Myself?
The other day I was sitting at a red light when I looked over and noticed this guy in the car next to me talking a mile a minute, while being very animated. The only problem was there was no one else in the car as he was alone. I admit I’m still not used to seeing a person, who is obviously by themselves, talking as if someone was with them. In the old days we would have thought they had a screw loose but now we realize that they are talking to someone via a portable phone. Of course down in Philly I have seen homeless people wandering the streets who are actually having conversations with themselves. What should really alarm us is just how many times we really do have conversations with nobody other than ourselves.
Fortunately for us we don’t always have our conversations out loud but there are times when we have the occasional slip and let ourselves know we did something pretty stupid. As strange as it may seem to have a conversation with yourself it becomes even more interesting when you disagree with yourself and even worse would be if it ever reached the point where you got into a physical altercation with yourself.
Now before you think that only crazy people have conversations with themselves listen to what scientists have discovered about the possibility of a person having an internal dialogue with them self. Experts have named this dialogue self-talk. Self-talk refers to the ongoing internal conversation we have with ourselves, which in turn has a direct influence on how we feel and behave.
What is really amazing is that self-talk operates at a rate of between 800 and 1,500 words per minute and you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure out that there is a lot of chatter going on inside your head. And since it has been proven the brain never completely shuts down but continues to operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, well that alone can be a little scary.
How Long Has This Been Going on?
I began to wonder just how long has mankind been talking to them-selves and have discovered from reading the Bible that this started with Adam and Eve and their eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Before they disobeyed God all of their self-talk was positive and healthy. After all they had done nothing to be ashamed of. They had done nothing that would give them a consciousness of being guilty. They never said anything negative about anyone nor had they done anything in which anything negative could have been said about them. Let’s think about this, they had never been fired, never passed over for a promotion, they were never told they were not loved, never took someone or were themselves taken for granted, never said anything that hurt anyone and were never disappointed.
And, they were content with Father God being God, they didn’t take God for granted and they certainly did not want to be a God. They listened to him, followed what he had to say and had no reason to doubt or question him. After all He was God, not them. However eating from this forbidden tree turned us away from listening to God to listening to the god we became within. We came away from that experience not needing God anymore because we were gods. Our self-talk went from being vertical, a shameless talk between you and God, to being horizontal or a shame based talk between you and your own need to be god.
Fortunately for us God is never intimidated by our attempt at being equal with him. He gave us the Bible, to help us sort through all the mind games we play with ourselves. Of course at its center is Jesus who lived a sinless life and died for our sin of presumption, (thinking we were equal to God), and gave us an escape clause. When we believe in Jesus and his finished work on the cross, and confess our sin and we receive His forgiveness the Holy Spirit establishes a new Kingdom within each of us where as God would be returned to his rightful place as Lord and King on the throne of our hearts.
The problem we face is that we were all born into sin with ourselves as gods and for most of us years have gone by with our listening to and serving this crazy false god…ourselves. We received a lot of faulty advice and because of it we have done some pretty crazy things which severely crippled our abilities to listen intently and trust in God. Making ourselves god leaves strongholds in our lives that must be spiritually torn down because as much as we know that God is God we still have this old god (us) sitting at the gate of our hearts much like Absalom who sat at the gates of his father David handing out free advice to anyone that would listen.
These strongholds can be described as a repetitive and ingrained thinking process that our mind regularly travels down. For us to overcome strongholds we need to read 2 Cor. 10:4-5, “The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
Which is why Paul tells us to be “transformed by the renewing of our minds so that we will be able to ‘to test and approve what God’s will is” (Romans 12:2) In Col. 3:9 it says, “take off your old self with its practices and put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image if its creator.”
This process isn’t easy but we can be encouraged by what Paul says in Eph. 4:22, “You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds, and to put on the new self, created to be life God in true righteousness and holiness.”
We do this by changing what we feed out minds. Phil. 4:8, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.”
My mother used to say we need to get over our ‘stinking thinking’ and start thinking right again. It is true, insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
Father, give us the strength through the Holy Spirit within us to bring order to our present life and to still the babble of our present self-talk. We give back to you our desire to rule and reign over our own lives and give you Lordship over every area as we ask you to take your place as Lord and King and establish the Kingdom of God in all its glory within us.