What is Self Pity?

What is self pity you say?  What does it sound like?

“Oh pity for me, I’m gonna go eat worms!”

While this may not be the words you use, it is still the sentiment you have. And you need to quit it NOW. There are very few things more destructive than self pity. And it is an ailment that only you can resolve. Because only you truly know how often this attitude sways your thoughts and decisions.

Everyone visits the land of self pity occasionally. But some people have built a summer cottage there.


There are two main variations on self pity. The first is the honest straightforward variety. An example of this might be” I don’t deserve to be happy, because I’m damaged.” or “I’m not good enough to be loved by anyone.” You honestly look on yourself as having little value. You feel that you have nothing to offer or nothing that you do is good enough.

The second variety is a bit more subtle. It has self rightness mixed with it. An example of this is “I’ll never be happy, because I was raised in a poor family.” or “My husband’s never REALLY loved me.” or ” No one understands my pain.” or ” I’ve always done my best, but no one appreciates a single thing that I do.”

Can’t ya just hear the violins?

Everyone feels sorry for themselves sometimes, and everyone has circumstances that provide obstacles. What YOU do with those circumstances, determines how your life will turn out.

reread chaptersGod gave man free will. Adam abused that privilege, and created a huge mess for all of us to live in. In the same way, each of our choices creates ripples through our lives, our children and the world around us. We are affected by our choices, and by all the people around us, who are choosing every moment of the day.

This leads to a number of variables for every action we take.We might do something today, and when our spouse sees it he are very appreciative. We could do the EXACT thing tomorrow, and get an angry response, because our spouse is in a bad mood and making poor choices with his words. If we rely on our feelings or the input we get from others, our happiness is always dependent on their choices and responses. We will live defeated because you can’t please everyone all the time( and honestly, you can’t please ANYONE most of the time!) This leads to Type 1 self pity.

Type 2 self pity presents when you feel you deserve better and you aren’t getting it. “You deserve to be treated in a certain way by your spouse.”or “You deserve a raise that your boss won’t give you because of a personality clash.” or”You work as hard as you know how, so your kids should be grateful and appreciative.”

NEWSFLASH! Deserve is not a word that should be used lightly. When you start dwelling on the things that you deserve, you are in trouble. Our thoughts and emotions can run amuck very easily. God created us to be in fellowship with HIM. He is suppose to be our sounding board. When our actions are tempered with His kindness, when our words are tempered with His compassion, when other people’s words toward us are filtered through His mercy… then our lives begin to have a sense of balance.

No person is perfect. We are each flawed. But when God looks at us, He looks past the dirty face and the messes we’ve made. He sees all the potential and the beauty that is inside. He wants to wash us and polish us so we shine. When we indulge in self pity it is a high form of arrogance. We are looking into the face of the creator of heaven and earth, the face that is looking and seeing all our potential, and saying you are wrong! I am broken and you can’t fix me. You can set heavenly bodies and create every creature on this planet, but with me you… screwed up.

OR, you are standing toe to toe, with the One who created all and saying” I deserve happiness, and if I don’t get it I’m not gonna play with you.” Who do you think you are?

Each one of us deserves death, for the choices we have inflicted on others.
 No Yabuts.(You know..yabut, I was abused… yabut, I was hurt… yabut yabut yabut) I have made choices that hurt my parents, my teachers, my boss, my husband, my children and sometimes people I don’t even know. I have stood before God and shouted”You don’t understand!” I have inflicted hardship on people, and crushed their dreams and belittled their efforts and denied their right to be right sometimes. I can be selfish and bratty and catty and obnoxious and belligerent and awful. I deserve death. But Jesus knew me. He knew every ugly thing I would ever do, and He wrapped his arms around me and looked into the face of almighty God and said, “For this one, I will go to the cross.” And God with tears in His eyes watched His blameless child die… for His broken resentful child.

How can I walk away from a gift like that? I spent much of my life trying to be accepted. I wanted people to see the real me. I wanted them to see my potential and understand that I had gifts I could share with the world. God loves me unconditionally and He loved me first… when I was still a jerk. I accepted His gift of love. I accepted that He died for me. That’s why I choose to live for Him.

I do the best I can, and I leave the rest to God. He takes my efforts ( which tend to be measly, at best) and He uses them for seed. He finishes the job for me. An example… I love my kids, but sometimes I don’t show it like I should. “I love you ” only goes so far. God helps me be to patient and kind. I can not be what people expect. I can not give any more than what I have. But when I do something with a pure intent, God will stretch it to cover a need.

Self pity is a pit that we need to crawl out of and avoid as much as possible.
We do not live in a perfect world. We are not surrounded by perfect people. But we do belong to a big God. He Loves us more than anything else in creation. We need to learn to walk in the security of that, and stop being pathetic.

self absorbed


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