Saturday, May 18, 2013

Pastoral Pings ~ A Morning Talk With my Soul

1 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)

          I love these Psalms where the writers talk to their souls. The fact that this is in God’s inspired word invites me to do the same. Somehow, the outer part of me, perhaps my mind, can talk to the inner part of me, my soul.

          My mind knows a lot. It understands truths about God in a reasonably knowledgeable way. It gives much thought to God, and his words, and what they mean to me as his beloved child.

          On the other hand, my soul is a slow-learner. It needs many reminders about what to do to feel joy, and how to avoid the joy-stealers that keep me from enjoying what is rightfully mine. God provided for these lessons and reminders by giving us beautiful songs and poems to think about and ponder in order to help our souls get with the program, so to speak.

     “So, soul, listen up! You will experience the most joy today if you will delight in blessing and praising God’s holy name rather than dwelling on hurtful things people have done to you. You will find more joy and satisfaction in turning your longings towards God, rather than turning to the world, its people, and its pleasures, to make you feel some fleeting moment of happiness.

     “And, soul, about the memory problem you have… it is my job to remember things for you, so I will help you to not forget all the benefits God has given us.

     “And, while we’re at it, do you know why we hold God’s name in such high regard? Do you remember what I’ve told you about this? It is because his name is holy. His very name is a very holy name. Those people who hurt you, they did not have any regard for you. Those people who let you down, they could never have been enough for you anyway. But God, he has a holy name.

     “That means that every perfection we can imagine (my job), is contained in his name. Because his name is holy, he forgives us, he redeems us, and he satisfies us. He works right, and just, and good things, in our lives. Although he has more reason to be angry with us forever, he constantly shows us mercy and grace instead.

     “Not only that, but he is very slow to get angry even when we are very slow at turning from our sin. When he must be angry with us because we are just not listening, his anger lasts only long enough to turn us back to him. Surely you see how much better this is than those who get angry at us without even a moment’s notice, and hold on to that anger for what seems like a lifetime?

     “Soul, look up to the heavens. Can you see how they spread out above us without end? That is how high and wide and long and deep is the steadfast love of our God. Look to the unending distance of the east heading off so far from the unending distance of the west. That is how far God has removed our sins from us.

     “Soul, do you know how our Father relates to us? It is in compassion. He knows what we are like. He knows that we live in this body made of dust. He knows how fragile we are, and how easily distracted. He knows. He cares.

     “And, since we’re still going here, do you know why I can’t let you forget about what God does for us? It is because his blessings are our greatest benefits. He blesses us with the things we long for, and continuously calls us back to himself. He instructs me, and comforts you.

     “And, if you do not yet see this, the wonder held out to us is that he wants you and I, and our heart, and our strength, to all experience what it is like to be filled to the full with love and joy. No one else can give us that. Those people who have hurt us, they cannot give us the love and joy we are designed to experience. Those people we long for, they can never satisfy us like our God can.

     “So, my soul, and all that is within me, let us bless the holy name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Let us not forget all the benefits he gives us. Let us not forget how constantly the Son rises over our hearts with daily expressions of his mercies. Let us find our joy in him, and sing these songs of praise that give us more in the singing than we could ever give God in our praising.”

          We often treat the idea of people talking to themselves as a mental illness. There are many times this would be a valid concern. However, there is also a way to talk to ourselves that is actually mentally healthy, and soul-healthy, and heart-healthy. Of course, what is healthy for our inner-selves tends to produce a good effect on our bodies as well!

          So, let us build ourselves up by looking into the word of God on a daily basis to receive the very words of encouragement and hope that we can then discuss with our souls throughout the remainder of the day. We might just find that we are able to build-up and encourage someone else in the process, just as the writer of Psalm 103 has done for countless numbers of people for the past three thousand years.

          From my heart,



© 2013 Monte Vigh ~ Box 517, Merritt, BC, V1K 1B8 ~

Unless otherwise noted, Scriptures are from the English Standard Version (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.)

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