Self pity is self destructive. Feeling bad for ourselves usually makes a bad situation worse. The longer we linger in self pity the longer the situation lasts. We often sabotage our own success with self pity. Self pity will keep us stuck in the past or present and will not allow us to see a hope filled future. Self pity tries to block us from what could be based upon what was or what is. As followers of Jesus we must remember that Jesus is the great I am, not the great I was or the great I will be. If we are breathing there is hope. When bad things happen to us, or when we make bad decisions and don’t like the consequences of those decisions, we often feel shame. If we don’t deal with the shame self pity can grow out of the soil of shame. Shame most often tells us that it’s time to change. Not dealing and responding correct to the shame results in self pity. Not dealing with self pity can be costly. Self pity, self bitterness, and self hatred could even lead to self destruction. If you are struggling with this right now ask Jesus to help you. He always hears a sincere and humble heart that reaches out to him for help. Just know you are not alone and there is hope. God is omnipresent which means he is there when you cried and he even bottles your tears. He is there to help. Allow the wisdom that you find on his word (the Bible) to guide your thoughts, words and actions and you will not stay stuck in self pity. I have visited self pity street and it’s worse than a boarded-up, run down neighborhood. There is no life or shelter there. Ask God for help and he will be there. He often sends help in the form of things we don’t want to hear. Listen, absorb it and make the necessary adjustments so you can break free and help others. Remember this, you can’t help someone with something that you are in bondage to yourself. If hurt people hurt people then free people help others get free and it was for freedom that Christ set us free. [Galatians 5:1]
“The rod and rebuke give wisdom, But a child left to himself brings shame to his mother.” [Proverbs 29:15 NKJV]
You don’t have to be a parent to gain wisdom and understanding from this proverb. You may not have a child to discipline or nurture, but if you don’t receive disciple and correction and if you don’t nurture what you are responsible for you will live with shame. Correction is often protection. Correction and discipline are both ways we gain wisdom. Spanking a child, not out of anger but out of love, is actually one of the ways God gives a child wisdom through his parents love and discipline. Correction is one of the ways we gain wisdom. If a child doesn’t feel the consequences of their actions they will feel that there will be no consequences to their actions later in life. When someone rejects correction they are actually rejecting wisdom. Most people will choose feelings over wisdom, I hope your are not like most people. When a child is neglected and left to themself they bring their mother shame. If we neglect what God will hold us accountable for we will have shame. Shame announces to us boldly that it’s time to make a change. Any area of our lives that we neglect will probably lead to shame in some way. It is essential to receive correction if we want to gain wisdom. Wisdom is necessary to make the right decisions. It is equally essential to nurture and care for and be attentive to what we will be accountable for. Be faithful to receive correction and nurture what God has blessed you with.
The Christian life must be built upon and centered around Christ and his teachings and commandments. Many Christians live defeated and disappointed lives because they think that the Christian life is about them, let’s be clear it’s not. The Christian life is not about us achieving our dreams in Jesus name. Jesus is not a representative of our kingdoms, we are called to be ambassadors of his. The Christian life is about Christ being formed in you and Christ being expressed through you.
- The Christian life is about sacrificial love not self preservation.
- The Christian life is about self denial not self gratification.
- The Christian life is about Christ’s significance not our security.
- The Christian life is about the Savior not our savings account.
- If your savings is your security mammon is your God.
Our security comes from knowing Christ intimately and our significance comes from serving Christ faithfully. Do you really know Jesus? Have you committed to serving him?
Cancel culture is not new but it is more aggressive than ever before. Often we label people so that we don’t have to listen to them. We need to learn to listen better. We need to learn to be slow to speak. We need to learn to love people we don’t agree with. People need to know that we don’t hate them just because we disagree with them. That false narrative needs to be exposed for the lie that it is. If you still feel the need to cancel stuff and people here are a few suggestions below.
- Cancel your preconceived notions of others and learn to listen.
- Cancel your feelings and fulfill your commitments.
- Cancel your doubts and believe what God has said.
- Cancel your fear and choose faith.
- Cancel complaining and choose to be thankful.
- Cancel greed and be generous.
- Cancel talking about people and talk to them.
- Cancel the need to live to please people who don’t even like or care about you.
- Cancel the lie that if you had ________ you would be happy.
- The proud – even God is resisting them. “But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.” [James 4:6] Pride will turn your advocate into your adversary. We can either choose to humble ourselves or be humiliated.
- The liar – someone who is not honest is not ready for help. Real help actually begins with honesty.
- The wanderer – someone who is everywhere but nowhere. They have no roots and so they aren’t able to receive help until they commit to plant themselves somewhere.
- The sinner – if someone is not willing to confess and forsake their sins they are stuck and you can’t help them out of where they want to be. We have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, but the sinner finds identity, direction and pleasure in their sin until it totally crushes them and brings them to Jesus. But not everyone lives through their sin. Some actually die in it. That could have been me, but by the mercy of God I didn’t.
The fear of the Lord brings an awareness that one day we will give an account to God for our intentions, words and actions. That is how the conscience is awakened and then we realize that we really need God. The kindness of God leads us to repentance. His patience with us is not his approval of what we are doing. Often the kindness of people is how God reveals his kindness to us. We can help to break up the fallow ground in the life of others by praying for and being kind and generous with people. Once humility begins to happen then grace appears and then change can happen for that person who was previously un-help-able. Just keep praying for and loving on folks. Leave the results to Jesus.
One of the first things you need to know is who not to listen to. If you listen to the wrong people you won’t last. Learning who and what to listen to is critical, especially if you want to last. I wrote this short blog entry because I want you to last, I want you to have longevity and I want you to be successful at what matters most. Psalm 1 begins with telling us that there is blessing for the man who doesn’t take council from the ungodly. Someone’s lifestyle will tell you if they are worth taking advice from or not. The Psalm goes on to talk about the man who focuses on God’s law will have success at whatever he does. The purpose of meditating on the law of God is so that you would premeditate to do what is right. Real success only comes from doing what is right in God’s sight. The Psalm goes on to use a fascinating metaphor. “He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, That brings forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper.” [Psalms 1:3 ] God plants you to prosper you. If you are not planted you can’t really prosper. In the verse above David writes, “whose leaf shall not wither.” This is speaking about supernatural longevity because you are not listening to the wrong people, you are focused on God’s word and you are planted to prosper and so God is giving this man who he called blessed supernatural longevity because his leaf shall not wither. My prayer for you is that your leaf will not wither in Jesus name!