Renounce Self-Pity for the Goodness of God
Self-pity is an awful monster that wants to eat away the life inside you. It's a monster, because it comes portrayed as a comfort to assist you thru difficult, unfair situations in life. But in reality, what it actually does is tighten the rope around your neck a little tighter, draining out all life and happiness and vibrancy. The inner gnawing that self-pity brings continues to churn and burn inside you, and it will eventually destroy you if you don't get it out of your life!
I know all this, because my life was dominated by self-pity from the day I was born, I do believe. I was almost choked by it before God helped me to see what it was, how wrong it was. When others around me experienced joy or blessings, I could not be happy with them. Indeed, no matter what good things I did experience, I always found something I considered unfair or uncaring, taking these things as ground to accuse God and others of being unjust and not giving me what I felt I deserved.
But God showed me that my attitude was wrong. As I begged God to change my heart and to show me what is true about the issue of self pity, He opened my eyes to see how wicked my accusations toward Him really are. I slowly learned, and am still learning, to fight against the lie of self-pity - because it is a lie - with the truth of God's goodness and righteousness in all He is and does. “Thou art good, and doest good.” (Psalm 119:68) In those moments when self-pity came begging for a pity party, I learned to quote verses about God's goodness and rightness, many times having to literally force myself to quote them, because of this monster's natural fierce aversion to truth. As my mind was renewed and I began to see that God truly is good, I started learning to be happy with those who experienced blessings and happiness, even when the blessings they were given are some that I long for and don't have.
In my fight to be free from this, I studied the life of Joseph. Where was self-pity in his story? I see from his life, actions, and attitude an inner strength. In every circumstance he faced, very unfair situations, he faithfully obeyed God's law of uprightness. When he was treated unjustly, he cheered the people around him. Even in prison, he served others. He was a trustworthy man. From what I see in his life, he was an inspired, full of life man, even in prison, because it was said of him “anything that was done, he was the doer of it”. He continually sought to encourage the hearts of the people around him.
Now, if anyone had a reason, according to our human way of thinking, to pity himself, it was Joseph. But he didn't! He glorified God thru every circumstance he was in. And I believe that's the difference, and the choice we must make. Will we glorify God, or will we become sour, dried up bits of humanity that stifle the party everywhere we go?
Romans 9:14 says, “Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid!” I believe when we allow self-pity in our hearts, we are unknowingly, or knowingly, accusing God. Accusing him of not treating us kindly, of not giving us what we want and what we think is good for us, and so many other things. But later in Romans nine, God says that He ordered the events to be what would glorify His name, and that His name might be declared throughout all the Earth. That shows me that God is doing what will bring the most glory to Himself! What right do I have to accuse God of anything because he's not letting me have what I want?! Life is not about what makes me happy! It's about God and what makes Him happy!
We have no right to self-pity.
You can overcome self-pity first of all by looking away from yourself, into your precious Redeemer’s face, and ask Him how you can know Him and glorify Him in the painful or difficult or even unfair situations you find yourself in. Then, you must yield your stubborn heart and allow yourself, or force yourself, if need be, to acknowledge the goodness of God, and go forward, with your focus on God and how you can love Him thru loving the people around you. Learn to look for ways to bless and do good to others, no matter how insistently your mind and feelings scream that you need the blessings they already have! And of course, cry out to God to change your heart and way of thinking.
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