“For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.” Romans 12:3
We may like the way self-pity feels when we wrap ourselves up tightly in its embrace. It’s a comfort at times. We believe we are entitled to sulk over the wrongs done to us. However self-pity is a false comfort. It demands our attention be focused on ourselves. Therein lies the problem, the word self. When we are focused on ourselves we are unable to receive the gifts God wants to give us. We cut ourselves off from The Spirit. (First Thessalonians 5:18–19) When we feel self-pity we are unable to be in healthy relationships with others or to communicate very well because self-pity demands all of our attention and it demands that others give us all of their attention too. Self-pity puts us at odds with God. When we feel sorry for ourselves we are really saying God made a mistake.
When we put ourselves first, God is not first. We may think we put God first, but in actuality, we are worshipping ourselves. Isaiah 29:13 “And the Lord said: “…people draw near with their mouth and honor me with their lips, while their hearts are far from me…” (The only time focusing on the self isn’t a dangerous things is when we are taking inventory of our character defects and sins so that we may repent and make amends. (2 Corinthians 13:5) )
When we indulge in self-pity we think more highly of ourselves than we ought. One of the best ways to avoid the clutches of self-pity is to be of service to others. Put the focus on them, instead of ourselves. (“And he sat down and called the twelve. And he said to them, “If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.” Mark 9:35). Have an attitude of gratitude for everything in your life. (always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Ephesians 5:20) When we surrender our will and our lives over to God we can trust that “it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose” (Philippians 2:13).
F.R.O.G. Practice: Examine any feelings of self-pity you have. What are you in disagreement with God about? Give your hurts and disappointments over to God. Find a way to be of service to someone today. Put the focus on God and others. You’ll feel better!