Self Pity Extinguishes the Flame of Joy
By: Mattie Ross
Guess who is the queen of pity parties? Me. 100%. Self-pity is one way that Satan gets to me because as humans our first instinct is to please ourselves. It is to turn inward to how we feel and how we think the world around us should be going. It’s our natural, selfish response because of our broken flesh.
The Bible can be a tad harsh when talking about self-pity and not honoring God with our whole selves. In Isaiah 29 it says that “The Lord says: ‘These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is based on merely human rules they have been taught.” It goes on to say that the wisdom of the wise men will perish because of this. Turning our eyes inward and placing the focus on what we want prevents our worship from being meaningful. Which then prevents us from being effective in building relationships with others. Which then takes us completely out of the game to share the gospel. Self-pity can be a destructive cycle if we do not recognize it as sin from the beginning.
Now, I know that life can just absolutely stink sometimes. Divorce, heartbreak, break ups, sickness, hard relationships with family members, and this list is only scratching the surface of what people can experience. I am not saying that we need to wake up everyday with a smile on our face and act like everything is okay. Because it is okay to not be okay or to be hurt or to be dealing with something, but how comforting is it to know that we have the King of Kings fighting our battles? (Exodus 14:14) That He has already overcome what you have struggled with and what you will face. We do not have to shoulder the whole struggle on our own. Man, thank you Jesus for that grace! It is when we let those trials and heartbreaks take over that it turns to sin.
Ultimately, self-pity does nothing good for us. It sucks the life out of you and everyone around you, it kills joy, it can drain your hope, it can steer you away from faith, and can help you develop the mindset that it is okay to do whatever you want when you want to as long as it makes you feel better. BUT If we lay down all of ourselves to God, He will help you develop habits to replace habits of self-pity. Like Tricia says in today’s devotional, we must move from being the victim to the victor. Persevere. Involve others around you. This is a fight that is worth fighting.
Verse to combat Self-Pity: Philippians 4:12-19