Self Pity Monster
Self Pity has to be one of the most successful tricks the enemy uses to defeat God's children. I don't particularly know why, but there isn't a person alive who hasn't been tempted by the thoughts of self pity.
"Why can't I ever catch a break?" "I deserve better than this." "Life is just never fair to me." "After all I have done, this is the thanks I get?" "I can not handle one more problem." "Good things only happen to everyone else." "My life just gets worse and worse." "No one else has to deal with this stuff." "Bad things always happen to me." "Nobody understands what I am going through." "Nobody cares about me." "God doesn't care about me."
Everyone one of these kind of thoughts are temptation. Feeling sorry for yourself is self destructive, even if you really are struggling. Everyone struggles with unfair circumstances. You may not intimately know what others are going through, but in reality, everyone struggles with the spirit of poverty, spirit of sickness, spirit of depression, and all the other vices the enemy uses to steal kill and destroy us. Those spirits tempt and trick in so many ways. And if he can use self pity to isolate your focus on yourself, he can steal, kill and destroy you faster. We often spend a lot of time focusing on creating good habits, but then we sabotage all those good habits with having not removed the bad habits. It's like working out regularly only to sabotage your workouts with eating unhealthy foods and saying, "Well, I worked out great so I can have it." Working out our bodies is a good habit, but a dozen donuts after every workout is sabotage. You are only as good as your worst habit. Self pity is a very bad habit. Maybe sometimes it feels like we are nurturing our feelings, but self pity is actually nurturing a negative feeling that spawns into other destructive feelings and habits. You cannot reach your full potential by dragging around the dead weight of self pity. Self pity is a waste of time because it solves nothing. It also leads to other destructive feelings which will run wild with you, like anger, disappointment, resentment, and loneliness. Self pity will eventually become a self fulfilling prophecy because expected failures often turn into real ones and that is only because our performance is weakened by a lack of hope. Self pity actually prevents us from dealing with emotions properly, like grief and anger and sadness. It makes excuses for them and keeps them alive. Self pity also causes you to only see what is negative in your life and overlook all the good that is there. Eventually self pity destroys your relationships because it is a very unpleasant thing to be around. No one likes a negative Nancy, even if she is having a bad day, everything is not always bad. The people I have seen in life who have gone through the most tragic experiences and survived and even thrived through them did so by recognizing the temptations to pity themselves and instead chose to act contrary to those feelings. They served others, they gave more, they found something, anything, to be thankful for, and in the end they conquered their negative circumstances, one way or another. One of the best things we could do in the new year is to become more aware of our own negativity and begin to practice processing our emotions better so that we do not get stuck in the endless cycle of self destructive self pity. Act contrary to it when you see it coming. Find the silver lining. Give God praise for something, anything. Serve someone less fortunate. Focus outwardly. This one change could change our lives entirely. And what a blessing we could be to others if we allow the voice of God to reign in our minds and hearts instead of the temptations of defeat from our enemy.