What is my weakness? This morning as I read 2 Corinthians 12:10, I asked God this question. The verse says “That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” I know that in all of my weaknesses, God will use them for healing, redemption, and His purpose. Yet how can I allow Him to heal me if I’m not sure what my weaknesses are?
So today I asked God this question and He pretty much immediately brought to my mind this phrase: self pity. And you know what? He’s right. Shocker.
This week I’ve had a lot of extra duties. I run a leadership program at my school and last night I worked late to select new leaders. I’m ordering and designing the staff shirt this year so I had to stay after school for that on Tuesday. And today, I’ve got to stay late for a school wide event. In the midst of this, I’m running a business and trying to finish planning my husband’s birthday party for this weekend. So yeah-there’s a lot on my plate. No doubt.
But you know what doesn’t serve me? Self pity. Feeling sorry for myself is ridiculous if I’m being honest. As appealing as it looks to me in these challenging moments, I literally get nothing out of it but sadness, hurt, anxious thoughts, and a large waste of time.
Self pity leads me to seek affirmation from others. It leads me to be disappointed when I don’t receive praise. It drives my actions to be motivationed by fear instead of love. It feels like a suffocating pressure. It gives me self righteous thoughts and puts others down. It makes me a victim.
When I list out the consequences of indulging in self pity, it seems absurd that I’d ever even choose it. Who would want to feel that way? But the path is well worn in my brain and it feels comforting at first.
But here’s the thing: thoughts matter. They matter not only because they control my actions, but also because Jesus told us they can be sinful. The Bible teaches thought-work. It commands us to notice what’s going on in our brains. It’s not some woo-woo New Age thing to be mindful of our thoughts. It’s flat out Biblical.
So what do I do about my self pity? I start by recognizing it. I start by bringing my sin before the Lord. I start by confessing and surrendering. God finishes the process if we are faithful. He will bring healing thoughts and His truths. We soak up those truths.
The God who has healed a million people before you will not abandon you. He has deemed you worthy of healing because His Son has atoned for your sins. Let’s rest in that truth today. Let’s let go of our self pity. After all-what do we have to pity ourselves for? We have confidence in our eternal salvation and, more importantly, in a God who is faithful beyond anything we could ever imagine. Who could ask for more?
“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” -2 Corinthians 10:5
“Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.” -Hebrews 10:23