by Dawn Scott Damon
Praise the LORD, I tell myself; with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name. Praise the LORD, I tell myself, and never forget the good things he does for me. He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases. and surrounds me with love and tender mercies. He fills my life with good things. My youth is renewed like the eagle’s! Psalm 103:1-5 NLT
Sometimes we need to give ourselves a good talking-to. That’s what Psalm 103 is all about. It’s a praise-prayer in which David, the shepherd turned king, counsels his own soul and reminds himself to “bless and thank the Lord” and “forget not all his benefits.”
These words encourage me! David’s purposeful habit to stir his own heart and commune with the depths of his soul reminds me to do the same, and teaches me two important principles: I must develop godly self-talk, and I must choose gratitude.
King David tells himself to be grateful.
“Praise the Lord I tell myself!” vs.1, 3
Gratitude and thankfulness don’t come naturally to most of us. It’s been that way since the fall of man. What does come naturally, at least for me, is to complain, grumble, and recite all the negative aspects of my life. Just like the thorns God warned would automatically spring up from the earth after the first sin, so ingratitude and selfishness arises from every heart that is not intentionally cultivated with thanksgiving. There’s no need for a self-help book entitled, “How to Tap the Power of Negativity: A Guide to Complaining your way to the Top!” No, griping and moaning are automatic and all too easy. We’ve got that one nailed!
David said, “I tell myself to be thoughtful and intentional, and I determine to choose gratitude.” He speaks to his own soul and regulates his attitude. As a result, David nurtures an appreciative spirit and renews his mind. Instead of allowing his human default setting to operate, he interrupts it and tells himself a true biblical story—God has been good to me!
King David tells himself to be grateful.
David’s life-giving self-talk stirs his heart to become grateful and deeply thankful for all of God’s blessings and benefits in his life. He reflects on God’s goodness and declares;
- I’m thankful you forgive my sins.
- I’m thankful you heal all my diseases.
- I’m thankful you redeem my life from the pits.
- I’m thankful you surround me with love and tender mercies.
- I’m thankful you fill my life with good and beautiful things.
After reminding himself of God’s wondrous gifts and relentless faithfulness, David’s soul is energized. He ends his prayer of gratitude with an exuberant crescendo when he basically says, “Praise God! I am a renewed man. My spirit is refreshed and soaring like an eagle. I’m like a young man again.”
I love this.
David’s “before and after” condition shows me there is a way to uplift my own soul and renew my heart, my energy, my attitude, and my perspective. What is it? Gratitude. It’s superior to jazzercize, cheaper than health food, swifter than weight watchers, and altogether less arduous than jogging. We simply can’t have bitterness and gratitude at the same time.
So, like David, let us remind ourselves to draw on this principle daily. At the dawn of every new day, make gratitude a purposeful moment of focus. Tell yourself to be thankful and then practice gratitude throughout your day. Recite your blessings and refuse your complaining; reframe your perspective and renew your soul. Sit up and smile and then declare, “Hey me, don’t forget, God’s been so so good to you.”
This article was brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).
About the author: International Author, Speaker, and Pastor, Dawn Scott (Jones) Damon began her ministry and writing career after finding freedom and healing from the childhood trauma of sexual abuse. Dawn’s first book, When A Woman You Love Was Abused: A Husband’s Guide to Helping Her Overcome Childhood Sexual Molestation, won the Reader’s Favorite Gold Medal Award in 2013.
Dawn is a favorite keynote speaker at Women’s Conferences, bringing in-depth teaching along with heartfelt honesty, laced with side-splitting laughter. In her latest book, The Freedom Challenge: Sixty Days to Untie the Cords that Bind You, Dawn shares compelling truths in a sixty-day interactive Bible study that identifies and confronts eight cords that keep many believers bound. These practical and powerful biblical tools will give you a new mindset, a fresh beginning, and a clear direction for a positive future. Take the Freedom Challenge and become an active participant in your own emotional and spiritual transformation.
Join the conversation: What’s the first thing that pops into your mind when you tell yourself to be grateful?