Woe Is Me: The Distortion of Self-Pity
Sunday we started our series on self-pity entitled “Woe is me.” We began by considering the insidious epidemic of self-pity. The more we become functional idolators, worshipping the creature rather than the Creator, the more we’ll mourn what we experience and seek sympathy from others. Remember, we should mourn our losses. We live in a broken and sinful world which creates suffering and death contrary to God’s created order. We were created to glorify God and enjoy him forever but the world isn’t as it should be and we have reason to mourn. But our mourning should be vertical not horizontal. When we share our suffering with others, it should result in humility before and hope in God.
This Sunday we’re going to consider the distortion of self-pity. Self-pity is a distortion. We’re so focused on self that our view of ourselves has become distorted. As functional idolators we believe that we deserve something other than what we’re experiencing. We feel powerless to change what we experience so we mourn our suffering and seek horizontal sympathy to affirm our worth.
Self-pity is a distortion of the world. We start to believe that everyone and everything is against us. We start to believe that there is no hope in our situation, there is no goodness in this life. This creates a final distortion in our view of God. Each of the cases of self-pity in Scripture deny God’s goodness in their life. Naomi is a prime example of this when she says, “the hand of the LORD has gone out against me.” (Ruth 1:13) But because of her self-pity, she couldn’t see God’s goodness and faithfulness. The distortion goes deeper because it exposes our belief that we deserve better than God is giving.
As you come Sunday, continue to work to spot self-pity in those around you and come ready to consider the distortion of self-pity. Remember today, and everyday, God is faithful (1 Corinthians 10:13).