This just in from our global tribe of 771,000 online followers: “Mark, how do I know when I am legitimately sad and when I have self-pity?”
This question does not come as a surprise to me at all.
We are seeing an increase in self-produced pity around the world that “validates” negative circumstances and marinates our soul with hardships—past and present.
The sin of SELF-PITY comes when we look at our life without recognizing God as our Lord and Savior. Once we remove God and the Holy Spirit and what he did for us on the Cross from the equation, there is NOWHWERE to go but inside ourselves to understand our life.
That’s when we quickly tell ourselves that since God is not here “on this one,” we have earned the right to turn on the SELF-PITY faucet and start bathing in its poison.
The first step in knocking down SELF-PITY is heading straight to God’s Word. But do not panic when you cannot find the term. That does not mean the Bible is silent on SELF-PITY. Far from it, in fact.
The only reference to pity comes from Jesus who leaves the word SELF completely.
“Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand and touched him and said to him, ‘I will; be clean’” Mark 1:41
SELF-PITY is neutralized by the very act of going to God. That’s what David did in the face of being betrayed and maligned. With seemingly every right to turn on his own SELF-PITY, he instead went to God (Psalm 54:2–3).
SELF-PITY is neutralized by the very act of going to God. And then it is vanquished by the power of Christ.
I ask God to keep me from whining and whimpering in my own SELF-PITY. To turn my attention to his healing help—the only solution to the SELF-PITY problem.
WHAT ABOUT YOU?
Maybe it’s right now. Maybe it will be tomorrow. Perhaps it will be a little further down life’s road. But the SELF-PITY assassin will appear. What will you do?
“Restore to me the joy of your salvation; and uphold me with a willing spirit.” Psalm 51:12