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May 21, 2023 · Bob Gass

Beware of self-pity

“No one should seek their own good, but the good of others.” 1 Corinthians 10:24 NIV

Self-pity can be deadly. It tells the wife and mother who works hard, “You’re not appreciated.” It says to the office worker, “Look how valuable you are, yet you’re never recognized or rewarded.” It says to the unemployed, “No chance!” To the divorced, “No place!” To the bereaved, “No hope!” And to the struggling, “No way!” Look at the prophet Elijah. Twenty-four hours after his greatest victory, he is deeply depressed and wallowing in self-pity. “I have had enough…Take my life…I have zealously served…But the people of Israel have broken their covenant with you, torn down your altars, and killed…your prophets. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me, too” (1 Kings 19:4, 10 NLT). There it is – self-pity in the raw! Generally speaking, there are two reasons behind self-pity. The first is emotional manipulation. We use self-pity as a weapon to guilt trip others and get our own way. That’s immaturity, and you have to deal with it, whether it’s in yourself or somebody else. On the other hand, self-pity can also stem from sheer exhaustion. Recorded in the Old Testament, God showed Elijah four behaviours he needed to correct to get himself back on track: (1) He needed more rest. (2) He needed to eat better. (3) He had to turn this eyes to God and stop trying to do everything in his own strength. (4) He was isolated and needed a friend. So God gave him Elisha. That did the job, and the next time we see Elijah, he was back on top. Take a moment today and think about how you can apply this to your life.

Bible in a year: 2 Samuel 22-23 and Psalm 57

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