In evangelical Christianity, trends pop up like weeds on my lawn – all the time. Included in those trends is the phrase, “Preach the gospel to yourself.” Now, I don’t especially like any trends and I do not like how most people use this phrase, however it is a good phrase and a good thing to do if you understand it properly.
To give you an idea of how this phrase is improperly used, it is like when a Christian comes to his friend and says, “Could you help me out, I am really struggling with my fight over this sin.” And the friend replies, “Don’t worry, just preach the gospel to yourself.”
Or when that same Christian comes to that same friend and says, “Could you pray for me, my wife and I are just not communicating very well, and we just need some help opening up our talking lines.” And the friend replies, “Don’t worry, just preach the gospel to yourself.”
Can you see that this phrase today is just a “catch-all” reply by the Christian, a “band-aid” for the ailing walk, a “shotgun” response to any spiritual question. But that is not what it means.
R.W. Glenn in this video explains what it means to truly “preach the gospel to yourself” and next time you use this phrase or come upon someone who uses it improperly, explain it in a way that really helps to make a difference in someone’s life and sanctification.