Being pitiful or powerful is a choice. As Joyce Meyers says, “you can be pitiful or powerful, but you can’t be both.”
In my own life, I have had to make the choice to be pitiful or powerful. Death of a son, divorce, troubled relationships, etc. I had a choice to make. I could have chosen to dive into the pit of woe is me, why God, become unforgiving, angry and bitter, wallow in self-pity and fall into that self-destructive pit or I could choose to run to Jesus and allow my trials to become my testimony. What’s your story? I’m sure self-pity has come knocking at your door at some point in your life. Maybe it’s a job situation, finances, inability to have children, severed relationships, loneliness, etc. You fill in the blank. These are all situations the enemy wants to use to introduce you to self-pity.
Self-pity is a spirit. It is really idolatry because it is putting SELF before God. Self-pity causes us to be consumed with me. Self-pity is excessive love of oneself which is the opposite of what God says we are to be which is selfless. Ouch!
My pain, my hurt, my disappointments, my truth, my perception, how I have been mistreated, how nobody knows what I have been through or how I have been wronged. Self-pity can leave us stuck in the “why me Lord” mindset.
Every spirit has an agenda and self-pity is no different. As with all spirits, they are openings to other spirits. Self-pity portrays a victim mentality. Self-pity doesn’t stop with self-pity but escalates to manipulation. People manipulate because they aren’t getting their needs met so they do and say things to place guilt on others to get their way. They play the victim and act helpless, blame others for all their problems and take no responsibility for their own actions. Self-pity usually leads to unforgiveness, anger, hatred, resentment, rebellion, even a murderous spirit (with our words and sometimes our actions) and bitter broken heart. It also opens the door to depression and self-pity will make you sick.
Self-pity will keep you from finishing your race and it will steal your joy. Self-pity is a thief. It will distort your view of others which will cause jealousy. Jealously can be deadly because it causes your tongue (the smallest but a deadly weapon) to speak lies against others. Have you ever looked in one of those mirrors that change your body shape? That’s what self-pity does. It distorts our view of not only ourselves but others and that distortion causes us to speak badly of ourselves and those who have what we don’t seem to have.
If we don’t guard against self-pity, the ME MONSTER will take over our thoughts and our lives becomes all about self. The enemy doesn’t stop at self-pity. It is just one door to the Kingdom of Self. Self-pity, self-hatred, self-rejection, self-righteousness, self-indulgence. Self. Self. Self. Do you get the picture?
Self-pity is a self-centered mindset and takes the focus off Jesus and what He did on the cross for us. Self-pity requires no faith because it’s all about me. Many who are consumed with self-pity don’t really want to be healed or victorious because it will no longer be about them. Self-pity would rather receive sympathy for their circumstances than to be set free and be victorious. I know that’s a harsh truth but it is truth nevertheless. Have you ever noticed that their conversations are all about them and their problems and their hurts and their woes and rarely addresses their own role in their circumstances or what they can do to change their circumstances or who they can run to (Jesus) in prayer and how He changes EVERYTHING? Self-pity becomes like a security blanket to them. Self-pity always shifts the blame to someone else and they never take responsibility for their own actions.
The Bible is full of examples of those who chose to be powerful rather than pitiful. I am reminded of Job and how he had lost everything. Self-pity came knocking at his door but he ultimately denied self-pity even when his friends tried to throw him into the pit of self-pity. He denied the Kingdom of Self and when he did, God not only restored but gave him twice as much as he had before. (Job 42:10)
Another example is the widow woman found in 2 Kings 4. She could have chosen to feel sorry for herself because her husband had died and she and her sons were left in a dire situation. Instead, she chose to trust the man of God, Elisha, and did as he said and as a result, she was able to pay her debt and live her life victoriously.
Then there’s the woman in 1 Kings 17 who was making the last meal for her and her son and then planned to die because she had no food and no way to provide. She could have stayed in that pit BUT she chose the path of provision that God made for her. She listened to the man of God. She could have chosen to just eat that last meal and die but she chose to be powerful rather than pitiful.
Jesus Himself could have gotten stuck in the self-pity trap. Why Father? Why do I have to die for THEIR sins, for THEIR sickness? He chose to do the selfless act of love. He chose to say “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” Luke 22:42. I’m so thankful that Jesus didn’t get trapped in self-pity. It was all about us as He surrendered His life. Jesus was selfless. Who are we to pattern ourselves after-the one who gave His all for us?
Now let’s take a quick look at one man who got all caught up in self-pity- King Saul. He was a King with great destiny. But guess what? He became jealous of David and self-pity grabbed hold of him. Self-pity cost King Saul his anointing and his destiny.
I realize we are all human and aren’t always going to do it right. However, we must be aware of the enemy’s covert plans to set these traps for us to destroy us along our journey. The enemy wants to keep us bound up in shame, guilt, and bitterness. He will use self-pity as a video player to replay all of our mistakes of the past and fear (of the unknown, of failure, of loneliness, etc.) to paint a picture for your future. When we truly repent of our past mistakes (and not just sorry we got caught), we must leave the past in the past and refuse to replay it over and over in our minds.
We cannot fulfill the Great Commandment to love God with all our heart when these things rule our lives. Self-pity needs to be denied, because it keeps us from being fulfilled in Jesus. Do you find yourself wallowing in self-pity? To break free from self-pity you must surrender “self” to Jesus and change the focus from you to Him and begin to praise the Lord with a grateful heart.
If you want to be set free from self-pity, you must recognize that it is an issue and surrender it to God. You must repent (change your thinking and turn and run the other way). You must put your focus on God. Learn to praise him in all circumstances (whether you feel like it or not) and have a heart of gratitude. You must forgive. Unforgiveness will keep us trapped in self-pity. You must lay it down and repent of unforgiveness – let it go and forgive. Grab ahold of God’s promises and what God’s truth is. Stop depending on others to fill your needs and rely on God. You must deny the Kingdom of Self and focus on the Kingdom of God.
I encourage you to be determined not to waste one more day of your life in self-pity. When you lose hope and begin to feel sorry for yourself, STOP! Begin to say SELF, you will not rise above the word of God. I CHOOSE to believe what God says about me and my situation and my God ALWAYS causes me to triumph. Devil, you are a liar and you have nothing to say to me. Choose to be powerful and not pitiful!
Here are some scriptures to help send combat against self-pity:
Proverbs 31:27 AMP “She looks well to how things go in her household, and the bread of idleness (gossip, discontent, and self-pity) she will not eat.”
1 Thessalonians 5:18 ESV
Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
James 4:7 ESV
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
Philippians 4:13 ESV
I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
Psalm 51:12 ESV
Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.
Matthew 16:24 ESV
Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.
John 10:10 ESV
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.
Mark 12:30 ESV
And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’
Romans 8:28 (NLT) And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.