How to Preach the Gospel to Yourself

July 1, 2010

I'm praying God will help me understand His grace and be rid of the guilt and shame I carry with me. I can know He is Lord of my shame, Lord of my sinful heart and He is my great Redeemer  (lyrics from Fernando Ortega, Sing to Jesus) in my head, but there is a disconnect between my head and heart. I think it's the reason why when God exposes yet another sin or a new level of understanding of a sin I have been working on, shame and guilt take over. I then live in the slough of despond wishing I could run away. Which is actually funny because where can I go to hide from God? (Psalms 139)

I've heard people talking about preaching the Gospel to themselves every morning, but I don't really fully understand what that means. My internet search lead me to Drew Goodmanson's blog and his post on the subject. I'm still processing...

How to Preach the Gospel to Yourself

The two critical events are repentance and faith.  Errors people commonly fall in are (1) only dealing with the surface sin instead of the root sin and (2) preaching moralism to ourself instead of the gospel.   

PART I:  DOWN THE SLOPE OF REPENTANCE - Objective: To see and confess that I am a bigger sinner than I thought. 

1. See and Own Your Sin:  Examine yourself in the mirror of God's Word, your negative emotions and attitudes, and the responses of others to you.  Guard yourself against sin's deceitfulness: the tendency to water down God's standard, compare yourself to others, shift the blame or commit ourselves to trying harder.

2. See the Sin Beneath the Sin: Don't move too quickly to confess and receive forgiveness for the surface sin (cheap grace, "I'm just a sinner" attitude.  If you are anxious, yes go to Phil. 4, but what is causing your anxiousness?)  Push the 'Why?' question until you find what you are looking to other than Jesus (your functional messiah) for meaning and value in life.

3. Expose the Idols of your Heart: Idols always disappoint 

They are weak: They can't deliver when you succeed; they can only raise the bar. They can't forgive you when you fail; they can only lower the boom.
They are harmful: They hurt you spiritually, emotionally and physically.  They hurt others by undermining your ability to love.
They are Grievous: Most importantly, by going after these idols/other lovers you are saying to God: "Jesus is not enough.  I also need _________ in order to be happy.

Read the rest here...


  1. Very, very good Amy. Thanks for sharing that.


  2. Have you read "Living the Cross-Centered Life" by C. J. Mahaney? It's all about preaching the gospel to yourself. It's a short read but very powerful!!

  3. Very good post, Amy! Thanks so much for sharing it with us.


  4. This is a big issue I have as well. I wear my big fluffy robe of guilt with a hat woven of shame and I stick a feather of unworthiness in it and call it macaroni. Not exactly the full armor of GOd, is it? Glad I found this! I've got Mahaney's book in my nightstand, I think I'll go take a look right now!


  5. I have that book!! I forgot I had it! Really duh moment here...Time to get it out, huh? Russ and I were looking for something to read together and this will be perfect!!


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