What A Pity Party

Every human being is prone to self-pity. We are born self-centered, with a powerful drive to protect our egos and our “rights.” When we decide that life has not treated us as we have the right to be treated, self-pity is the result. Self-pity causes us to sulk and obsess over our hurts, real or perceived.

At the heart of self-pity is a disagreement with God over how life and how He has treated us.

We all live in the territory of the flesh. When we surrender our lives to Christ, our old nature is crucified with Him (Galatians 2:20). When self is dominant, God is not. We, in effect, have become our own god.

C. S. Lewis put it this way: “The moment you have a self at all, there is a possibility of putting yourself first—wanting to be the center—wanting to be God, in fact. That was the sin of Satan: and that was the sin he taught the human race.”

Bitterness can quickly override the fruit of the Holy Spirit that should be dominating the life of every believer. First Thessalonians 5:18–19 tells us that we are not to “quench the Holy Spirit.” Instead, we are to give thanks in everything. It is impossible to give thanks while clinging to self-pity, because, by definition, a self-indulgent attitude is not focused on gratitude to others. Self-pity cannot be thankful for what God has allowed.

Rejecting the impulse to feel sorry for ourselves is not easy. Life provides many opportunities to experience rejection, injustice, and the cruelty of man. Our natural response is self-protection, which often results in self-pity. However, we can choose to “walk by the Spirit, and...not gratify the desires of the flesh” (Galatians 5:16). We can look at every opportunity to indulge in self-pity as chance to defeat that old nature. 

We can choose instead to trust that God, “will work everything for the good, to those who love God and are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28).

God bless you,

Paul Delisle

This week's devotion is from one of new snowbirds. Paul Delisle and his wife Janice, were with us a short time over the winter and will be back in the fall.

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