“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13
If you’ve ever struggled with self-pity, you probably know it’s an awful lot like quicksand. Once you take a step into it, boom. You start slipping down. Then down some more. Down, down, down. A downward spiral into pure thick yuck and mud and stuck. I’m plenty familiar with self-pity. I’ve held a zillion pity parties, found people don’t tend to like to attend them, and gotten stuck into way more quicksand than I care to recall.
One day the Spirit of God caught me quickly. Just as I was about to start the downward spiral, right as my foot started to stick. He showed me where I was headed and convicted me I had a choice. Imagine that. I had been so prone to self-pity that it had become automatic to go right into the thick of it, hard and fast and ugh. This time was different however.
A friend had hurt me. Not like I was unfamiliar with hurt. I have always been sensitive, and I have on top of that always been prone to people being insensitive toward me. Not a good mix particularly when self-pity gets thrown in there. But not this time. God wanted to show me another way. The way of His love. It was a good thing I had been studying love in the Bible and asking the Lord to help me love others the way He commands us. There I was, amid my study on love and headed straight for what had so often for me been the inevitable quicksand of self-pitying stuck.
Not so fast. I had prayed before speaking to this friend God would help me to love her and humble myself and seek how I could serve her as I had already been upset about something she had done and knew the conversation could be a challenge. When the tears came during the call, I held them at bay, watched my mouth, and resolved to be loving. But when the call ended and the tears threatened to burst forth and I started to sink into the self-pity, the Holy Spirit convicted me I had been learning to die to self and live for Christ, to lay down my life for others in Christ’s strength. God swiftly led me to repentance for my self-pity, and the tears disappeared. Immediately I felt the most glorious love and comfort filling me, and unimaginable joy. My friend had hurt me, but as soon as I chose to repent of the pity and hurt, to love Him and her instead, I became gloriously filled with Christ’s love. Oh, what I had missed through the years due to the sin of self-pity. I had missed the brilliant experience of the Lord’s love and nearness and the opportunity to love and serve Him with all my heart and to share His love with others.
Self-pity is all about self. Repenting of it is about the Lord Jesus Christ and making our priority loving the Lord and loving others in His name for His glory. Goodbye self-pity.