Many sins are totally obvious to the sinner and to those around them. Self-pity, though, is a sneaky one. It quietly enters through the backdoor and begins to occupy one’s life! Self-pity can be an addictive and destructive behavior. Often, self-pity goes hand-in-hand with procrastination. The self-pity/procrastination combination certainly makes life feel very, very difficult.
Is Self-Pity A Problem For Me?
Here are some of self-pity’s favorite phrases:
- It’s so unfair!
- My life’s just not turning out the way I thought it would!
- I just wish life was easier.
- Everything’s going wrong!
- I’ve given up so much for God…I don’t understand why things are going this way…
- Why are people always so mean?
- I just knew this wasn’t going to work out!
- Why doesn’t anyone understand/care what I’m going through?
If you’re saying any of these things to yourself on a regular basis, then yup, you’ve a ‘victim’ of self-pity. Read the book of Jonah if you’re still not sure if you struggle with the vice of self-pity. If you come away from the reading thinking, “Poor dude!”, then yes, it’s very likely you suffer from self-pity.
Self-Pity is Self-Sabotage
Self-pity is an emotional response that actually comes from pride! We think you deserve better results, given the effort we’ve put in. But ultimately, we think we know better than God what should happen in our life. When it comes right down to it, that’s what we really think, isn’t it?! That’s gotta change! Clearly, God’s way MUST be the best way. After all, He is God; He knows everything and is PERFECT! We’re not actually a victim of our circumstance but a ‘victim’ of our own pride.
Self-pity is actually a form of self-sabotage. When we pity ourselves, we give ourselves a LOT of slack. For example, things just haven’t been going well for me so I can have a little break from reading the Bible, doing my best, being kind, etc. When we validate self-pity in our lives, we ensure our own unsuccessfulness. It’s a cycle of self-defeat. The more we cause ourselves to fail, the more we pity ourselves and the more we give ourselves permission to do less than our best.
The cure for self-pity is this:
2 Corinthians 4:6-7
“For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.”
We carry God’s light inside us! God has chosen to dwell within our hearts!!! How could we ever feel sorry for ourselves when we have God, who created all there is, living inside our mortal bodies?
If you have never asked Jesus into your heart…It’s the most wonderful experience. Just ask God to forgive your sin and welcome him into your life. When you choose to surrender your will to God and begin to know His love, then you can have peace.
If you have chosen Jesus but you feel self-pity, you need to re-focus on our Lord. Pray and thank Him for coming to dwell in your heart. It is through prayer that we can feel what He feels. I want to see myself through the eyes of love…through the eyes of God. Then I will really know…that I’m not pitiful. I am created and chosen and indwelt by God.