Avoid Self-Pity

Avoid Self-Pity | January 17, 2024

After a challenging and discouraging day at work, Pete plopped himself on the couch and began wallowing in self-pity. He moaned to his wife, "Nobody cares about me. In fact, the whole world hates me." Without looking up from her work, Pete's wife replied, "That's not true, honey. The whole world couldn't possibly hate you because most of them don't even know you."

Charles Stanley once said, "Self-sins do not die easily." These self-sins are not something we do; they are something we are, hence their subtlety and power. Some of these self-sins, for example, are self-righteousness, self-pity, self-promotion, self-admiration, and others like them. The message today will focus on the hidden cancer of self-pity. If not treated, self-pity can wreak havoc within your heart and possibly lead to your demise, but you have a choice. Consider two of the most notable examples in the New Testament—Peter and Judas. Jesus Himself chose both men to be His disciples! However, both men willfully failed. Peter denied Christ, and Judas betrayed Him.

The difference was their reactions. Peter wept bitterly and repented while Judas hid in shame and self-pity. Because God seeks to forgive those who repent, He restored Peter.

In Luke 22:59-62, we read Peter's third and final denial about his connection to Jesus: "About an hour later someone else insisted, 'This must be one of them, because he is a Galilean, too.' 60 But Peter said, 'Man, I don't know what you are talking about.' And immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster crowed. 61 At that moment, the Lord turned and looked at Peter. Suddenly, the Lord's words flashed through Peter's mind: 'Before the rooster crows tomorrow morning, you will deny three times that you even know me.' 62 And Peter left the courtyard, weeping bitterly."

Jesus not only restored Peter, but he also used him to preach, reaching over 3,000 with the message of forgiveness. I guess you couldn't pick a better person to teach about God's mercy than Peter!

Judas, on the other hand, didn't turn back to Christ; instead, he hung himself. Matthew 27:5 says, "So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself."

Sadly, Judas traded Jesus for 30 pieces of silver, but that wasn't the only bad trade he made that day. Judas sold his life as well. He allowed self-pity to ruin him. Had he turned, repented, and put his faith in Jesus, there is no doubt that God would have received his heartfelt confession and profession of faith.

Therefore, you want to avoid, at all costs, having a pity party over past failures. Your best recourse is to repent and trust in the grace of Almighty God.

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