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 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?
- 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!
Some people walk around overwhelmed because disappointment is so deep within them that every little issue feels big. You don’t have to live like that. Overwhelmed is not just a feeling it’s a choice. Instead of focusing on everything, focus on the next right decision and make it. No one will make it for you, that’s your job. Your feelings, your words, your responses, your actions, those are your responsibility. When you choose to be overwhelmed the circumstances you are in then become the Lord of your life. Lets not let disappointment be our Lord and Savior, that what Jesus is for. False hope and false expectations lead to real disappointments. It’s ok to feel disappointed. Feeling disappointed only reveals that you had hope. We have all been lied to or lied about. But how you respond will determine where you go and who will go with you. Your response to unfavorable circumstances will either make you a victim or an overcomer, the choice is yours. If you don’t deal with the disappointment it will deal with you. Choose not to be overwhelmed focus on the Lord and the next right decision.
Would you rather be slapped or kissed? That is not a trick question. It is a question about what type of relationships do you want? Do you want people who actually care about you? Or do you want people in your life who are seemingly nice but really do not care about you and are only in it for what they can get? We need to ask ourselves, what kind of person are we? Do we genuinely care for others? Or are we just nice to people for the purpose of what we can get from them? Are our compliments genuine and sincere or are they filled with flattery for the purpose of manipulation? Sometimes the people who feel and sound safe are actually not. Sometimes the people who rub us the wrong way are actually better for us than the feel good flatterer who is really lying to us to try to manipulate us. Remember iron sharpens iron but never without friction. We need more friction and less flattery if we want to be sharp and on point.
“Let the righteous strike me; It shall be a kindness. And let him rebuke me; It shall be as excellent oil; Let my head not refuse it. For still my prayer is against the deeds of the wicked.” (Psalms 141:5 NKJV)
David is welcoming the correction of the righteous. I would rather be slapped by the righteous than stroked by the self seeking. What about you? Do you want real relationships where people love you enough to be honest with you? Learning to respond to correction is essential for our personal growth. People who can’t hear correction position themselves for deception. Someone who is humble has the ability to hear hard things that others would want to avoid, deny or make excuses about.
“Open rebuke is better than love carefully concealed. Faithful are the wounds of a friend, But the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.” (Proverbs 27:5-6 NKJV)
Open rebuke is more beneficial than a deceitful kiss. It’s better to be slapped or wounded by a friend than kissed by an enemy. We need to have courage to develop relationships where there is enough trust for us to be honest. It’s possible to be honest and honorable. The goal is to be able to slap someone with truth and it feel like kindness to them.
One day I asked my son, “Justice, what are you thankful for?” When I asked him that he started to name who he is thankful for. He didn’t name things, he named people. He reminded me what really matters. People matter. You matter, I am thankful for you. I am thankful that you stopped by my blog for a quick read. I hope it encourages you. This blog is not about me, it’s for you. I am thankful for the relationships God has allowed me to have. The scriptures teach us that we enter into God’s presence with thanksgiving. The scriptures teach us to live with an attitude of gratitude. We are taught that it’s God’s will that we are always thankful. When we are thankful we live with the correct perspective, we live from God’s presence toward our circumstances.
Jesus was teaching the multitudes for several days. They were hungry and so the disciples wanted to send them away. Jesus commanded the disciples to feed the multitudes. What he commanded them to do was impossible in the natural. They found a boys lunch. The lunch was brought to Jesus, he lifted it to heaven, thanked God for it, blessed it and gave it to his disciples to pass out to the multitudes. There were 5,000 men in attendance not counting women and children. Thankfulness is what opened the door to the impossible and through the obedience of faith the miraculous was manifested. When we are thankful we are inviting God to invade our circumstances with his power and provision. I am thankful that God will finish the work that he began in us. You can be thankful to Jesus and confident in his work in you. What he has began he will complete so don’t quit.