Sunday, June 25, 2017

The Self-Pity Christian

One of the things that I absolutely dislike is the attitude of self-pity. The "woe is me" garbage induced by life not being all rainbows and unicorns or milkshakes and fries(to each their own). As former queen of self-pity, I know all too well what it's like to sit around sulking and complaining when things don't go your way. But I know I wasn't the only one. So many are infected with this disease and it permeates the mind, releasing this pungent odor stained with bitterness, negativity, and misery in our attitude and behavior. The problem with this stench is that it doesn't go away very easily and can leave an imprint on anyone it comes into contact with. In order to treat this malady, we have to understand self-pity for what it really is.

Oswald Chambers said in one of his devotionals from his book, My Utmost For His Highest, that self-pity is satanic. When we stop to think about it, he couldn't be further from the truth! Self-pity is truly satanic because we make the focus entirely about ourselves when we feel mistreated, lonely, inadequate, and feeling sorry for ourselves in any way or form when we don't get our way. It is a passive-aggressive form of pride that steals trust and glory in the LORD and places them on ourselves. Anytime our focus on the LORD gets taken away, it does absolutely more harm than good. It leaves us feeling more bitter, depressed, unthankful, and pessimistic.

The reason it's so difficult to combat is because self-pity comes naturally to all of us. We're all prone to having pity parties thanks to our human sin nature. It takes a lot more effort to overcome it than to indulge in it. So how do we overcome this vile, putrid smell passing through our nostrils? Focus on the Lord and what He has done for us instead.

By asking God to increase awareness of our sinful nature and surrendering ourselves-thoughts, feelings, and attitudes to the Cross and letting Him replace them with His nature-mindset and attitude, we gain more awareness of Christ within us and desire to serve and obey Him. We mustn't let ourselves be deceived into thinking that we don't need Christ in all areas of our lives. That our own common sense and logic is sufficient. It's not. We are rotten and defiled to the very core, and our logic and wisdom no matter how superficial or profound it is, it is terribly imperfect and finite compared to the perfect wisdom of God. To assume that our thinking is greater than God's shows mere arrogance and disbelief.

Let's see what the Bible says about arrogance and unbelief.

"Those who trust in themselves are fools, but those who walk in wisdom are kept safe."-Proverbs 28:26

"And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him."-Hebrews 11:6

"God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble."-James 4:6

God won't cater to our pity pouts when we don't get our way. So don't expect Him to be manipulated by your "poor me" excuses as an attempt to get what you want. God's not stupid. He sees right through it. Throw your petty temper tantrums all you want, it won't get you anywhere except a miserable attitude. It's your choice to stay in that rut. Just remember the consequences it'll have in the long run should you choose to stay there.

Anytime you are tempted to run in the direction of self-pity, turn to the Word of God and rebuke the selfishness and idolatry self-pity carries. An older and mature woman of God suggested reading 1 Peter and chapters 3 and 4 of Philippians when we start slipping into the pity party mode. If you're wise and willing, you'll greatly benefit from it. If not, scroll back to the top of this post and read it again. :)

"God must increase, but I must decrease."-John 3:30

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