It was a quote I first came across in 2009 and it has had a profound impact on my life ever since:

“Have you realised that most of your unhappiness in life is due to the fact that you are listening to yourself instead of talking to yourself?”


Written after his own personal burnout, Martin Lloyd-Jones is saying something that is certainly worth pondering over. Take yesterday for example – did you spend most of the day speaking truth to yourself or was most of the time spent listening to yourself – your worries, petty grievances, fears and anxieties? For me, as a disciple of Christ, by ‘truth’ I mean the Bible scripture in all its richness and fulness.

Most of us I think spend more time listening to lies than we do speaking truth to ourselves.

Waking up in the early hours of the morning, I find it is so easy for my mind to quickly rush to things I am worried about or I feel I need to do. It’s a very unhelpful time to think about those things, because invariably at that early hour I can do nothing about the things that are on my mind. There is something about that time in the middle of the night when we are still tired and our blood sugar level is low that makes listening to the worries of our heart all too easy.

And  if we are not careful, that listening process can carry on from the moment we eventually get up. So often as we struggle through our morning routine, we’re not directing the thoughts in our mind – we’re simply at their mercy. We find ourselves complaining about what happened yesterday and then worrying about what is going to happen today or tomorrow. We go in the bathroom, look in the mirror and assess the damage that then leads us to brood over how we feel. The reality is we are not in charge of our thinking – we’re just there.

That is why speaking truth to your heart is so important. For me the routine that I have found so beneficial is increasing intimacy with God by getting to know Him better through internalising Biblical Scripture. The best time to start is as soon as possible after I wake up before all the challenges and issues of the day come charging at me.

In the post entitled ‘How to avoid God, ‘ I mentioned a quote by C.S. Lewis that vividly expresses that:

The moment you wake up each morning, all your wishes and hopes for the day rush at you like wild animals. And the first job of each morning consists of shoving them all back: in listening to that other voice, taking the other point of view, letting that other, larger, stronger, quieter life come flowing in.

How about you?

How do you quiet the anxieties and worries of your heart and speak truth into your life?