Self-pity is so obnoxious! Self-pity can burrow down into your spirit and cover your mind’s eye with a filter the color of jaundice and as thick as smog over Los Angeles.
I know what I’m talking about. Recently I went through a week or two of just feeling sorry for myself. Now perhaps that attitude could be excused in a 14-year-old, but a grandmother who has known the Lord for approximately 100 years? Seriously? Further, that same grandmother has taught Bible classes and one of her recurring themes is gratitude. But I had the blues.
Gratitude is the best known antidote for depression, the inevitable destination of one on the self-pity path. Even when life is hard, or complicated, or actually, just so daily, there are plenty of reasons to be grateful if we put the brakes on our unruly emotions.
The answer is so simple, really. Give thanks. “Give thanks with a grateful heart…for He’s given Jesus Christ, His son…”
How about “Count your blessings, name them one by one. And it will surprise you what the Lord has done.”
I recently read a most unusual book by Anne Vosskamp, ONE THOUSAND GIFTS. In it she inspires the reader to notice and to be thankful for everyday, simple gifts—the way the morning sun spreads gold on the kitchen table, the song of a lark in the storm, the velvet of a puppy’s tummy…
My gifts are too many to count, beginning with being born into a family who knew the Lord and my mother who sang old hymns as she tended household chores. And today? Today, when I’m not in a self-pity funk, I recognize that I am the richest woman I know: I have a Godly husband who is still with me. Our three children all serve the Lord, married Believers, and are raising their children “in the fear and admonition of the Lord.” (Can anybody reading this tell me where that litany is from?)
Our children love and honor us, presenting us with grandchildren I hesitate to talk about lest I lead others into the sin of covetousness.
The greatest gift of all? God has made Himself known to me–Creator of the heavens, the earth, the seas and all that in them dwells, has made Himself known to this grumbling old grandmother. Amazing!
I am not Pollyanna. I have known pain and loss in my life, but I have discovered that God’s admonition to cultivate gratitude is for my own good and when followed, gives me joy and peace.
With sincere heart I repent before God and my family for my lapse into self-pity.
“In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” I Thessalonians 5:18