Self-Pity

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On Getting Hurt at Church

Posted by on 22 Jun 2012 | Tagged as: Self-Pity

 

Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.

Col. 3:13 NLT

We get so easily hurt with our church family, don’t we? We have such high expectations on how others should behave toward us, especially believers. We are so quick to pull the trigger, walk away offended, wounded, and angry. We would rather die old, alone, and offended, than to forgive, release compassion, and work to maintain our relationships. Our indulgence in a victim mentality is at times most pathetic. Our woundedness becomes an excuse to withdraw, lick our wounds, and shed our committments  to our church family.

We need to repent of our self-pity, unforgiveness, and hypocrisy. We were not the first people to be hurt at church nor we will be the last. We need to live what the New Testament teaches about releasing others from their real, or imagined, offenses. Our call is to live the life of service, patience, and unselfishness, the same life we expect from others.

We need to allow the Jesus that lives in us to be patience, forgiveness, and lovingkindness in our church relationships. Our calling as “holy ones” requires us to lay down our lives for others especially those who have offended us. Jesus had every reason to walk away from us for we have disappointed him many times, yet he still loves us, and pours out his mercy upon us.

You must expect that these poor sinners in the Church are going to get hurt and that they are going to hurt each other. To be let down by the Church is not a reason to leave her, any more than to be let down by your family is a reason to give up family life and move to a desert island. Are there any who have not been hurt by members of their family?

In his City of God, St. Augustine wisely observed that it breaks the heart of any good person to see that even in one’s own home one is not in a safe place and that one may be attacked even there by an enemy posing as a friend or even by an enemy who used to be a loved one. If we all gave up on the human race because we have been hurt, we’d have to move to separate planets.

Fr. Benedict Groeschel, Arise from Darkness

Feeling Sorry for Ourselves

Posted by on 18 Jan 2011 | Tagged as: Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Self-Pity

The Self-Deception of Self-Pity

He [Elijah] replied, “I have been very zealous for the LORD God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.

1 Kings 19:10 NIV

Self-pity is feeling sorry for oneself: a pathetic state of self-absorption. Self-pity is our own belief that we are victims of pernicious circumstances and hostile people. “No one’s life is as hard as mine” is the cry of the “forsaken” saint.

When we  walk in self-pity, we long for attention, condolences, and admiration for our “unbearable suffering.” Christians experiencing self-pity want our wounded egos massaged by others: see my sacrifice, see my suffering, see my heroic efforts, etc. Self-pity is smashed when we see our Savior’s sufferings and recognize that in a fallen world no one is immune from pain and disappointment.

As Christians we should never feel sorry for ourselves. The moment we do so, we lose our energy, we lose the will to fight and the will to live, and are paralyzed.

D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

HT: Christian Quote of the Day

Poor Pitiful Me!

Posted by on 30 Nov 2010 | Tagged as: John Piper, Self-Pity

The Destructiveness of Self-Pity

[Elijah] said, “I have been very jealous for the LORD, the God of hosts. For the people of Israel have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword, and I, even I only, am left, and they seek my life, to take it away.

1 Kings 19:10

Self-pity is feeling sorry for oneself: a pathetic state of self-absorption. Self-pity is an individual’s own belief that they are a victim of pernicious circumstances and hostile people: “no one’s life is as hard as mine.” Christians walking in self-pity long for attention, condolences, and admiration for their “unbearable suffering.” Christians experiencing self-pity want their wounded ego to be massaged by others: see my sacrifice, see my suffering, see my heroic efforts, etc. Self-pity is smashed when we see our Savior’s sufferings and recognize that in a fallen world no one is immune from pain and disappointment.

The nature and depth of human pride are illuminated by comparing boasting with self-pity. Both are manifestations of pride. Boasting is the response of pride to success. Self-pity is the response of pride to suffering. Boasting says, “I deserve admiration because I have achieved so much.” Self-pity says, “I deserve admiration because I have sacrificed so much.” Boasting is the voice of pride in the heart of the strong. Self-pity is the voice of pride in the heart of the weak. Boasting sounds self-sufficient. Self-pity sounds self-sacrificing.

The reason self-pity does not look like pride is that it appears to be needy. But the need arises from a wounded ego, and the desire of the self-pitying is not really for others to see them as helpless, but as heroes. The need self-pity feels does not come from a sense of unworthiness, but from a sense of unrecognized worthiness. It is the response of unapplauded pride.

John Piper, Desiring God: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist (Sisters, OR: Multnomah, 1996), 250.