Clicky

What Does the Bible Say About Talking to Yourself?
Skip to content

What Does the Bible Say About Talking to Yourself?

Talking to yourself can seem like a strange habit. Some view it as a sign of insanity or mental instability. However, recent research has shown that talking to yourself can actually provide cognitive benefits. Self-talk allows you to clarify your thoughts, focus your attention, regulate your emotions, and even boost your performance on various tasks. So is talking to yourself good or bad according to the Bible? Let’s explore what Scripture has to say.

Introduction

The Bible does not directly address the practice of talking to oneself. However, we can gain some insights based on broader biblical principles and examples of figures in the Bible who spoke to themselves.

Key Takeaways:

  • The Bible emphasizes meditating on God’s word and truth. Self-talk can aid this.
  • Speaking truth to ourselves aligns with Scripture’s admonitions about the power of the tongue.
  • Several biblical figures talked to themselves, suggesting it is not inherently sinful.
  • Self-talk can become sinful if it involves lying, despising ourselves, boasting, or complaining.
  • We should ensure our self-talk aligns with God’s truth and glorifies Christ.

In this comprehensive article, we will explore what the Bible says about topics relating to self-talk such as meditation, the power of the tongue, and examples of biblical figures talking to themselves. We will also consider potential pitfalls of unhealthy self-talk habits. My goal is to provide guidance on how to ensure our private conversations with ourselves honor Christ and align with God’s Word.

What does the bible say about talking to yourself?

The Bible Emphasizes Meditating on God’s Word

The Bible frequently commands that we are to meditate deeply on God’s truth and His Word.

“This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” (Joshua 1:8 NKJV)

“Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night.” (Psalm 1:1-2 NKJV)

“My eyes are awake through the night watches, that I may meditate on Your word.” (Psalm 119:148 NKJV)

As these verses demonstrate, consistent, prayerful meditation on Scripture is essential for every believer. This does not mean merely reading God’s word, but deeply reflecting on it, dwelling on its meaning in our lives, and determining how to apply it.

Talking through Scripture aloud to ourselves can help facilitate true biblical meditation. Speaking key verses, praying through passages, and asking ourselves questions are examples of using self-talk to meditate on God’s truth. The Bible urges us to constantly focus our minds on God’s commands and principles. Talking through them, even in a whisper to ourselves, can aid this type of rumination.

Our Self-Talk Should Align with Biblical Truth

In addition to meditation, the Bible contains many admonitions about the power of our words and warnings against ungodly speech.

Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” (Proverbs 18:21 NKJV)

“Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.” (Ephesians 4:29 NKJV)

Just as our outward speech should honor Christ, so should our inner self-talk. After all, Jesus said that out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks (Luke 6:45). Our private conversations with ourselves reveal much about our hearts.

We must ensure we are speaking truth, not falsehoods to ourselves. As Paul instructs, we should “take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5). That includes our self-talk.

Bible Knowledge Quiz

How much of a Bible lover are you? Take Viral Believers Quiz to find out!

1 / 10

Who built the ark?

2 / 10

Who led the Israelites out of Egypt?

3 / 10

Who was the first man created by God?

4 / 10

What are the first three words of the Bible?

5 / 10

Who was thrown into a lions' den but was not harmed?

6 / 10

What fruit did Eve eat from the forbidden tree?

7 / 10

What sea did Moses part to escape the Egyptians?

8 / 10

Which apostle denied Jesus three times?

9 / 10

What is the first book in the Bible?

10 / 10

What city were Jesus’ parents traveling to when Jesus was born?

Your score is

The average score is 85%

0%

Rather than mentally rehearsing worries or dwelling on past failures, we should consciously choose to speak encouraging biblical truths to ourselves that align with our identity in Christ.

Examples of Biblical Figures Speaking to Themselves

Several figures in the Bible engaged in self-talk, suggesting that conversing with oneself is not inherently sinful.

For example, David often spoke to himself in the Psalms:

“Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; For I shall yet praise Him, The help of my countenance and my God.” (Psalm 42:11 NKJV)

“Bless the Lord, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name!” (Psalm 103:1 NKJV)

David exhorted himself to hope in God and bless the Lord even in difficult circumstances. His self-talk helped renew his mind and remember God’s truth.

The prophet Elijah also engaged in self-talk when he felt afraid and alone:

“It is enough! Now, Lord, take my life, for I am no better than my fathers!” Then as he lay and slept under a broom tree, suddenly an angel touched him, and said to him, “Arise and eat.” Then he looked, and there by his head was a cake baked on coals, and a jar of water. So he ate and drank, and lay down again. And the angel of the Lord came back the second time, and touched him, and said, “Arise and eat, because the journey is too great for you.” So he arose, and ate and drank; and he went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights as far as Horeb, the mountain of God.” (1 Kings 19:4-8 NKJV)

Elijah expressed his despair to God, then received miraculous provision. His example shows that God understands when we talk candidly to ourselves during trials.

These examples reveal that conversing with oneself is not unbiblical. Our loving Father cares about our inner thought lives. However, we must ensure our self-talk aligns with truth and glorifies Christ.

Potential Pitfalls of Unhealthy Self-Talk Habits

While self-talk can be beneficial, the Bible warns against letting our inner speech become unhealthy. Here are some potential pitfalls to avoid:

Lying to Ourselves: Speaking falsehoods about ourselves goes against God’s prohibition against lying: “Do not lie to one another” (Colossians 3:9 NKJV). Unfortunately, we can often deceive ourselves. We must instead speak truthfully about ourselves, as well as God’s truth over our lives.

Self-Criticism and Loathing: Scripture instructs us not to “think of yourself more highly than you ought to think” (Romans 12:3 NKJV). However, the Bible also warns against despising ourselves: “The Lord has appeared of old to me, saying: ‘Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you’” (Jeremiah 31:3 NKJV). Our self-talk should align with God’s love for us in Christ, avoiding harsh criticism.

Boasting and Pride: We must ensure our self-talk does not become a means of congratulating ourselves on our own goodness. Jesus condemned the Pharisees’ boastful inner speech: “‘God, I thank You that I am not like other men’” (Luke 18:11 NKJV). Our private conversations with ourselves should glorify God, not inflate our own egos.

Anxious Thoughts and Complaining: As we meditate on Scripture, we should take Paul’s advice: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God” (Philippians 4:6 NKJV). Our self-talk should avoid anxious muttering and complaining, instead expressing gratitude and trust in God.

By examining our hearts and becoming aware of unhealthy thought patterns, we can fill our minds with God’s truth rather than lies, pride, or negativity.

Guiding Our Self-Talk to Honor Christ

Given the Bible’s warnings about misusing speech and thought, how can we ensure our self-talk honors Christ? Here are some tips:

  • Pray through passages of Scripture, personalizing the truths and promises.
  • Ask yourself probing questions to uncover sinful thought patterns.
  • Speak God’s affirmations aloud – that you are forgiven, loved, equipped by Him.
  • Give yourself biblical advice for situations just as you’d counsel a friend.
  • Encourage yourself in the Lord as David did by reminding yourself of Gospel truths.
  • Express prayers of gratitude and praise for who God is and what He has done.
  • Measure your self-talk against Philippians 4:8 – is it true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable?
  • Remember that the Holy Spirit lives in you and can correct harmful thoughts and speech.

As we grow in awareness of our self-talk habits, we can increasingly conform our inner conversations to reflect God’s truth and bring Him glory. We can use self-speech as a powerful tool for biblical meditation if we guard our hearts.

Conclusion

The Bible does not directly address talking to yourself, but its principles apply. Self-talk can aid meditation on Scripture, but we must ensure it aligns with God’s truth, avoids pride or lies, and honors Christ. With wisdom and vigilance, we can make our private conversations build us up in godliness rather than tear us down. By monitoring our self-talk against the truths of Scripture, we can make it a beneficial habit that enlightens our walk with God.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pastor duke taber
Pastor Duke Taber

Pastor Duke Taber

All articles have been written or reviewed by Pastor Duke Taber.
Pastor Duke Taber is an alumnus of Life Pacific University and Multnomah Biblical Seminary.
He has been in pastoral ministry since 1988.
Today he is the owner and managing editor of 3 successful Christian websites that support missionaries around the world.
He is currently starting a brand new church in Mesquite NV called Mesquite Worship Center, a Non-Denominational Spirit Filled Christian church in Mesquite Nevada.