Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Outpourings: Pity Parties

Who wants to go to a pity party?

Courtesy of drawpilgrim.com

Anyone?

Nope.  No one.

That's right -- NO ONE.

That's because self-pity is one party that we attend alone.  

Some of you may be having a pity party over the outcome of the election.  Some of you may be partying over a goal left unaccomplished.  Or perhaps it's a situation that proved completely out of your hands in the first place.

Whatever it is, the Bible clearly wants us to quit the party.  God knows it's not what He intended for our character, nor for our spirits.  Self-pity is where the enemy grabs his foothold and runs with it!

This passage in 1 Peter 5 was pointed out to me recently by a dear friend of mine.  And I think it's extremely applicable to dealing with the monster of self-pity:

So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor. Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.
Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your Christian brothers and sisters[b] all over the world are going through the same kind of suffering you are.  10 In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation. 11 All power to him forever! Amen.

From this command, we can glean three ways to combat self-pity:

ONE: Praise and worship God.  Turning our sights to the greatness of God, praising Him for His goodness and righteous character, redirects our thoughts to heaven--where they were always intended to be!

TWO: Dwell on the truth.  Of your situation, that is.  We are commanded to stay alert and watch out...and that changes the light of our situation.  Sometimes the heat of the moment can blow truth out the window, leaving us with shattered fragments of emotion for the enemy to slyly piece together...in his way.  And his way is never God's way!

THREE: Realize you are not alone.  The feeling of loneliness in our struggles is a tactic that makes us feel separated from the world and unloved.  But we are told that our brothers and sisters suffer the same things we do!  Reach out and have someone you trust hold you accountable to self-pity.

The fantastic news: self-pity can turn into a beautiful opportunity!  Instead of wallowing, realize that God uses all things for His glory...and His eternal purpose will be unveiled.  A firm foundation is what He desires to establish within you!

So, ditch your own party.  That's perfectly allowed and highly encouraged by the God who loves you too much to see you wallow.

How else does self-pity show itself?  How else can we combat it?

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