Book Review: Note To Self , The Discipline of Preaching to Yourself by Joe Thorn
Note To Self , The Discipline of Preaching to Yourself by Joe Thorn is a refreshingly easy to read and digest little work that is long overdue. Written in short, easy to absorb chapters, this one is a winner and should be on everyone’s devotional shelf, after it is read, of course. Author Joe Thorn has written this work in a self-talk style that suggests to the reader that we should all be talking to ourselves in a corrective and positive manner.
Consisting of 48 chapters under three major headings, Note To Self covers a wide range of topics wherein we should be telling, or rather preaching, to ourselves Biblical truth. Ranging from love to risk taking to worship and work, we learn or re-learn Biblical maxims that should be at the core of our thinking. We often fail when we fall back into sinful modes of thought that drag us away from holiness and happiness. But Thorn neatly shows us how to preach to ourselves daily in each of these familiar areas of life. Thorn defines this private preaching as, “Preaching to ourselves is the personal act of applying the law and the gospel to our own lives with the aim of experiencing the transforming grace of God leading to ongoing faith, repentance, and greater godliness.” So, we should find that, “…preaching to ourselves puts us into a cycle of law and gospel where we move from our guilt and need to God’s grace and provision and then back to the law as joyful and free obedience.” The result? “Here the broken find hope and courage, for in Christ we have power and victory to obey, and we will, in the end, be raised in his likeness.”
He concludes his introduction this way, “To preach to yourself is to challenge yourself, push yourself, and point yourself to the truth. It is not so much uncovering new truth as much as it is reminding yourself of the truth you tend to forget.”* So, let me challenge you to obtain, read and preach to yourself in the manner described within the pages of this work for your greater joy in Christ. This little tome is well worth your time and effort to further your spiritual growth and well-being. Don’t pass this one up.
*Thorn, Joe (2011-04-05). Note to Self: The Discipline of Preaching to Yourself (Re:Lit) (p. 24,31 & 32). Good News Publishers/Crossway Books. Kindle Edition.