Are you talking to yourself?


Dean Gotcher

After preaching on Genesis 3:1-6 and the dialectic process, i.e. man's effort to 'justify' his carnal thoughts and actions of the 'moment' over and against God's will the minister told his daughter to "run to the store and pick up some food."  Evidently the minster, as well as his daughter, had heard what I had preached on that morning when he then asked her if she was "talking to her 'self.''"  The grin on her face revealed the truth, with her responding, "Yes I was.

When we "do not 'want' to do" that which we are told to do or we "'want' to do" that which we are told we "can not do" (in the 'moment' at least) we talk to our "self."   In that 'moment' we talk to our "self" about what we "'want' to do" or "do not 'want' to do" ("I ought to be able to ...") 'justifying' our resentment toward someone telling us what they want us "to do" or "not do" in the 'moment.'  This is the birthplace of dialectic 'reasoning,' 'justifying' (reflecting upon) our carnal desires of the 'moment,' i.e. what "we 'want' to do" or "do not 'want' to do" in the 'moment,' over and therefore against the authority which restrains us or blocks us from doing it (or forces us into doing it).

When you talk to your "self" today, are you dialoguing with your "self," i.e. 'justifying' your carnal desires of the 'moment' over and therefore against the will of God, or are you desiring to do the Lord's will, preaching to your "self," i.e. teaching your "self" to do his will instead.  It is the difference between "esteeming" your "self," i.e. going the way of the world and "humbling, denying, disciplining, and controlling" your "self," submitting to the will of God.  It is the difference between "Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God."  (Luke 16:15) and "O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done."  (Matthew 26:42)

Are you "casting down imaginations and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ." 2 Corinthians 10:3-5, desiring the approval of your Heavenly Father or are you "'justifying' your 'self,'" esteeming the approval of men?  In the midst of the storms of life who are you talking to?  Are you talking to your "self," i.e. to the way of the world or are you talking to the Lord, asking Him for direction?  "O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps."  Jeremiah 10:23b  "Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:" 1 Peter 5:6   "For every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted."  Luke 18:11-14 

If man exalts you, it is but for the 'moment.'  If the Lord God exalts you, it is for all eternity.  Who you are talking to, either talking to your "self" about how you are "feeling" in the 'moment,' or to the Lord, regarding how to respond to the situation, reflects who's exaltation you are desiring, desiring either the approval of men (of the flesh, the world, and eternal death) or the approval of God (of the spirit, the obedient Son and His Heavenly Father, and everlasting life).  "... and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ."  1 John 3:1  "If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.  For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.  And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever." 1 John 2:16-18  "And he [Jesus] said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me." Luke 9:23 "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me."  John 13:6

Whether what you are talking to (dialoguing with) your "self" about is done in silence or being shared in public, it reflects the desire of your heart.  While man can not hear the conversation you are having with your "self," God does.  It is out of this conversation with your "self" that the abundance of the heart is made manifest—whether spoken in silence, i.e. dialoguing with your "self" or dialoguing your opinion (what your are dialoguing with your "self" about) in public.  It is your "ought," i.e. the 'justification' of your hearts desire over and against the parent's command that the world want's to hear, 'justifying' its own dissatisfaction with parental authority as well.  How you are "feeling" and what you are "thinking" in the 'moment' is what the world wants to hear.  Who and what you know (preaching to, i.e. denying, humbling, controlling, and disciplining your "self"), especially regarding God and His Word, is not what it wants to hear.

What you are preaching to your "self" about, you will preach to others.  But if you dialogue with your "self," i. 'justify' your "feelings" of the 'moment,' you will dialogue your opinion, i.e. 'justify' your "feelings" and "thoughts" of the 'moment' with others (that is, when you "feel" that it is safe to do so).  It is why the world asks you to dialogue your opinion (how you "feel" and what you "thinking" in the 'moment') since the dialoguing of opiniosn carries with it no judgment, condemnation, or conviction (only "self" 'justification').  "The individual may have 'secret' thoughts which he will under no circumstances reveal to anyone else if he can help it.  To gain access is particularly important, for precisely here may lie the individual's potential for democratic or antidemocratic thought and action in crucial situations." (Theodor Adorno, The Authoritarian Personality)

The world will persecute you if you preach to and teach it the Word of God, i.e. telling it to deny, humble, control, and discipline its "self," i.e. to "cast down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;"  2 Corinthians 10:5 7 The Lord warned us: "The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil.  If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you."  John 7:7; 15:18  "Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man's sake." Luke 6:22

Who you are talking to?  Are you talking to the Lord or to your "self."  And what are you talking about?  It really does affect you, and everyone else who you talk to.  If you do not "deny your 'self,'" you can not "pick up your cross," i.e. you can not endure the rejection of others, and follow the Lord.  Rejecting the Lord, this is why education is more concerned about how the child is "feeling" and what he is "thinking" in the 'moment' than whether he knows the truth, i.e. knows right from wrong, whether he is evaluated his "self" and the world around him from the Word of God, seeking the approval of God or evaluating the Word of God from his "self," i.e. 'justifying' his "lust" for the things of the world over and against Godly restraint, gaining the approval of men.

In the 'moment' of crisis who you are talking to reveals your hearts desire.  Therefore "set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.  For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.   When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.  Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: For which things' sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them."  Colossians 3:2-7

© Institution for Authority Research, Dean Gotcher 2014-2015