|You Can Exercise Self-Pity or Praise, But You Cannot Do Both
By Greg Sanders
Acts 16:25 Around midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening.
Have you ever found yourself sinking into your own personal pity party? If anyone ever had a reason to practice self-pity, it had to be Paul. He had left a secure position to pursue the cause of Christ and now he was locked up in jail for setting a captive girl free. Truthfully, when we find ourselves in the caves of life, our normal reaction is to sink into self-pity. Some can be strong for a while. For some it takes minutes, others it takes weeks. Whatever your response, we are all familiar with the pull to begin to sink into that ditch of self-pity.
Self-pity is a tricky emotion mainly because self-pity brings a miniscule amount of comfort for a moment. The reason is because it is “self-pity.” Anytime anything is about us there is a little bit of comfort to it. However, the comfort it brings becomes a chain you cannot break on your own. The famous hymn writers Buck Owens and Roy Clark wrote a song back in the 70’s that went like this:
Gloom, despair, and agony on me…Deep, dark depression, excessive misery. If it weren’t for bad luck, I’d have no luck at all…Gloom, despair, and agony on me.
If that song has become your theme song then you have most certainly fallen into a state of self-pity. One of the best ways to allow praise to trump your pity is to change your song. Under the direst of circumstance we see that Paul overcame the pull of self-pity. Instead of sinking into despair he lifted his voice in praise. When you decide to worship God despite your surroundings, your worship brings God’s manifest presence into any place of earth. In such moments, your praise will begin to eradicate your pity.
Today’s Challenge: Begin to walk out of your self-pity by giving praise to God. Your praise does two things. First, your praise will bring realization to your connection with God as you begin to confess His greatness and His worth. Secondly, your praise will encourage your own faith as you begin to hear yourself declare God’s greatness.