“Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.” Luke 9:23
If you’re anything like I’ve been through the years, self-pity can be a mountain so monstrously big that I can’t see over it, can’t see through it, can’t see around it, and can’t see the other side of it. Quite plainly, self-pity is so self-consuming that when I’ve allowed myself to get wrapped up in it, I can’t see past me. I lose my sight of the Lord, of His Word, and of others. And self-pity is also like quicksand. I find myself falling into it, getting stuck in it, and falling ever deeper downward until I’m pretty much defeated. But the truth of the matter is I’ve not only found a way out of it, but I’ve discovered something amazing on the other side of it.
The way out of it is to turn one’s focus to the Lord and His Word, and to consider others. God’s greatest commands are to love Him with all our hearts and to love others as ourselves. Not to be consumed with self and to feel sorry for ourselves, but to be focused on Him and others. Instead of sitting around feeling sorry for ourselves, we can seek the Lord in prayer and ask Him how He wants to use us to be a blessing to others. Instead of sitting around dwelling on what we’ve lost or not gotten, we can ask the Lord how He might use us to be a blessing to others. Instead of feeling sorry for ourselves for our hurts and hardships, we can be thankful to the Lord for Himself and what He gives us day by day most importantly His love and mercy and then see how His Spirit through us can touch and bless others’ lives.
What’s on the other side of self-pity? The life Christ died on the cross and was raised from the dead for us to live. A life of faith in Jesus as Lord devoted to Him above all else and to loving and serving others in His name.
If anyone in the universe had a right to feel sorry for Himself, it would have been Jesus for all He endured on this earth and for all He endured on the cross. But instead of feeling sorry for Himself, He looked to His Father in heaven and sacrificed Himself literally dying to self so He could live for the Father and for others including you and me.
When we find ourselves caught up in self-pity, let’s do what Jesus told us to do. Let’s deny ourselves, take up our crosses, and follow Him. In His love. For God’s glory. Living for Him, living for others. Not self-pitying, but God- and others-loving! AMEN!