The Pride of Self-Pity
“He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God?" Micah 6:8 NASB
I admit, sisters—I fight the sin of pride many times in my life. I’m sure many share this same struggle and are battling it by the grace of God. Pride can disguise itself as many things and can be hard to discern at times when it rears its ugly head. One of the many masks that has fooled me in the past, present, and hopefully not future is the pride of self-pity.
Self-pity is a self-indulgent dwelling on one’s own sorrow and misfortunes. Even the definition itself echoes with prideful tendencies. We see this type of behavior, not only in our own lives, but in the lives recorded in God’s Word for us to look back on. From Job’s many lamentations of his plight (Job 3:11), to King Ahab who went home sulking and refused to eat because Naboth refused to sell him his vineyard (1 Kings 21:4). We can often let our circumstances, unmet desires, and let’s face it, flesh cause us to slip into the sin of self-pity and elevate ourselves and our wants over what is required of us and pleasing to God.
Jesus tells us that His followers are to deny themselves, pick up their cross, and follow Him (Luke 9:23). He did not give us a prerequisite that states “unless things don’t go your way”. We are told to die to self (Galatians 5:24), to esteem others above ourselves (Philippians 2:3), and to seek the kingdom of God in everything we need in our lives (Matthew 6:33). Does it sound like the pride of self-pity has any room in our lives if we desire to walk in a manner that is pleasing to God? I don’t think so either. In fact, these verses and more tell us that the key to defeating self-pity and pride itself is humility. No greater example of this is in our Savior's willingness to take on flesh like us, die the death we deserve, pay the debt we cannot owe, and give us new life that we are not owed (Philippians 2:5-11). By the grace of God, let us conquer our selfish tendencies with the new life He has given us, and walk humbly with our God.
Lord God, thank You for the example You have given us in Christ to walk in humility and how to do so. Help us to take our eyes off ourselves and keep them on You. Everything that comes into our lives works out for Your glory and our good. Give us eyes to see this. In Jesus' name, Amen.
Another definition for self-pity is misery. What patterns or opportunities in your life do you have to weed out this heart issue in your life? Go to God in prayer about it!