Oswald Chambers: “No sin is worse than the sin of self-pity, because it removes God from the throne of our lives, replacing Him with our own self-interests…we simply become spiritual sponges— always absorbing, never giving, and never being satisfied.”
ALL of us, myself included yield to feeling incredibly sorry for ourselves at times. In the current Covid-19 situation when we’re cut off from “normal’ and facing our own silence and distance from others we naturally suffer and some hurt more than others.
I recently posted in my Facebook and Twitter accounts several phone numbers/websites that deal with suicide prevention, accented in a video clip post the legitimate issues of mental illness -also various suffering that all people on the planet experience regardless of mental health. Of COURSE there are times we are going to pity ourselves. Further, like the biblical Job, sometimes we are not to blame nor in real control of circumstances and/or events that brought the misery and now suffer. Yes, this is all real and understandable yet no less painful!
At the same time we can all sin -and that’s an accurate term- for living in self-pity mode which is our choice. I did not say the events causing our emotions and hurt are always our choice, please note that!
Many years ago one of the most godly, unselfish, fruit-of-the-Spirit and wisest people I’ve ever known experienced a horrible divorce. A dishonest, adulterous husband/father brought it her way. After a fair bit of time in mourning and suffering (FULLY understandable and which I validated) we had a prayer time together.
I found myself doing my best to encourage her, NOT be a “Job’s friend” but also brought a difficult message to her. “There is a point in time where self-pity is something to move beyond as much as possible. Self-pity is still “self”. It can rob you of serving others, looking outward. Beating yourself up with what could have been or now is won’t change how you feel, but ‘let love make you serve one another’ may actually put your mind in a place of rest and peace.”
Some hours, maybe a day later as I cannot remember now, and second-guessing myself as to whether I had not been gracious and kind by saying that at the end of our chat I happened to overhear her minister to another individual using that very encounter and my words. She added “He was right. My eyes were so on myself I couldn’t see past to others. Facing this issue of “self” helped bring me out of my depression and pain.”
How often I’ve fallen into self-pity in my life! I mean, things “don’t go MY way” in tiny or sometimes large areas of my life and my response is so easily brash anger on one end or wimp whining on the other. My emotions kick in and I’m of course “righteous” and someone OTHER THAN I am to BLAME.
Sound familiar? It should because it’s all part of life in a world we do not and cannot always have control. How about “self-control”?
What we can do is call on the Lord for help, repent of allowing our feelings to dictate how our mind perceives what we like to call “facts” and “do all you do in love” as in “love one another, even as I have loved you, you must also love one another”. Now who was it that said that last bit? 🙂
Perhaps something to consider along the journey?
As always, thanks for stopping by. -Glenn