>I recently got done reading an article by William P. Farley from The Journal of Biblical Counseling about self-pity. In the article he describes what self-pity is, they symptoms of it and how to overcome it. From the article …
When persistently indulged, it [self-pity] destroys the soul with lethal toxins that, like arsenic, go undetected for years. Such is the deadly sin of self-pity! Self-pity seems so innocuous, so legitimate. It seems like a normal reaction to disappointment or trouble. But, as Richard Smith points out …
Self-pity can destroy you more quickly than anything else and is to be resisted with every fiber of your being. Yet you will be constantly tempted. we are bombarded with opportunities to feel sorry for ourselves. Every day we are misunderstood, overworked, underappreciated, and even abused, and regularly ‘something unfair’ will happen … we may even suspect a conspiracy: “somebody’s out to get me.”
That somebody who is out to get me is myself when I am consumed by self-pity.
What is self-pity …
The roots of self-pity are ‘pride-in-action’. It is the propensity to feel sorry for yourself because you are not getting what you think you deserve.
Self-pity assumes that you deserve good treatment from God and other people. It assumes this because it decrees that you are good, and you are entitled to good.
Self-pity exposes self-centeredness.
Self-pity is angry.
Self-pity comes with the “I am a victim” worldview.
Self-pity is a vacuum into which gratitude cannot enter. In fact, self-pity and thanksgiving cannot coexist. They are mutually exclusive.
Self-pity is a flashing neon light that says, “Pride resides here.”
Ultimately, self-pity is self-worship, and that is what makes it so deadly, so evil. At heart, self-pity expresses the idolatry of “Me, Me, Me.” It demands center stage. It seeks to be worshiped. And it dethrones God.
Overcoming self-pity ….
The cross of Jesus … shows us what we deserve. Jesus died as my substitute. He went to the cross in my place. Therefore, the cross proclaims this truth: I deserve crucifixion. I don’t deserve good things from God. Anything short of crucifixion is infinite grace bestowed by a loving God on someone utterly unworthy.
The cross not only removes just punishment, it brings all joy … so, rejoice!
No matter how bad your circumstances, you are getting better than you deserve.
Anyone who sees self-pity through the lens of the cross will increasingly detest this sin and flee it. The alternative to the self-imposed misery of self-pity is God-given joy and thankfulness.
When we believe, God imputes Christ’s lack of self-pity, His gratitude and thanksgiving, to you and me. To see self-pity through the lens of Christ’s cross is to receive both conviction and vast forgiveness.
How true and challenging in my own life. I am too often consumed by wrong thinking that I deserve better. But what a wonderful reminder of truth … I deserve crucifixion. And instead I received grace upon grace … there is no greater reason for my life to be filled with joy! I pray that as go throughout my day, regardless of my circumstances and trials, that I would view my self-pity through the lens of the cross so that I may be filled with thanksgiving and joy for all that I have been given … which is much more than I deserve.