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Invitation to a Pity-Party

Ever have a day when you feel like everything and everyone is against you? When you feel like you can do nothing right and the harder you try, the more misunderstood you are?

When I’ve had a day like that, and I’m feeling a little beat up, when I’m struggling to reach for grace . . . I know the right response, but sometimes it takes a bit to get there. Sometimes a good cry feels like the answer.

How about a good cry? 

The right response is to release the pain, to let it go. Rather than focusing on my injury, I need to seek to understand and to empathize with the one who threw the punches, knowing that “hurting people hurt others.” I know that I need to “count it all joy” because when I have a right response to trials, it produces endurance.

But if I’m tempted to hold onto the hurt and just have a good cry, it may be that I’ve wallowed in a few self-focused thoughts like:

“She completely misunderstood me . . .”

“Why do I try? Why don’t I just stay home and never go out in public again?”

“If he only knew my heart . . .”

Those thoughts are my signal to pour it all out in prayer. I need to relay to the Father every detail (although He already witnessed it all, knew it was going to happen, and surely has some purpose in allowing it).

Pouring it out to Him provides the sounding board that I need and I can take comfort in the fact that the Father delights for me to come to Him, and be honest about my pain and struggle.

When I’m hurting, God wants to move me past the expression of the pain, and lead me to embrace His perspective. 

I need to ask Him to let me see beyond my own pain so I can learn what He knows I need from this encounter.

Questions tumble out of a broken heart, but one that desperately wants to respond in a way that honors Him:

What do You want me to learn from this?

What are my heart issues that need to be dealt with?

How do You want me to bless or serve the one who rebuked me?

How can I glorify You through this?

On those days when self-pity doesn’t give up easily, and keeps rearing its ugly head . . . I determine that I will fixate on this one thought:

Jesus never gave way to self-pity. 

Never.

Not once.

Jesus, of all people, had reason for a pity-party. But never once did He give way to self-pity. Never once did He jump to His own defense or expend energy crying over how He was misunderstood, mistreated, or maligned.

Not once.

He was misunderstood, accused of being demon-possessed, a drunkard and glutton, ridiculed for associating with sinners, and ultimately crucified after a horrific beating. And through it all, he never gave into self-pity. In fact, Jesus viewed His mission of suffering as a joy.

[box]“. . . let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross . . .” (Hebrews 12:1–2)[/box]

Relationships in this fallen world will be filled with misunderstandings, broken promises, hurt feelings, pain, and suffering.

The truth is: I deserve more rebukes than I receive. 

My heart may be misunderstood by someone I love and respect, but my less than sanctified heart is also deceitful and wicked. I may have good intentions and honorable motives, but I’m still in need of much growth and refinement and (obviously) I still mess up.

No matter what the conflict is, no matter how mistreated I feel—there is one truth that always gives me the perspective to counter self-pity:

[box]For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. You have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood in your striving against sin . . . (Hebrews 12:3–4)[/box]

How can I hold onto self-pity when I focus on what Jesus went through for me?

How do I have a right to indulge in a morbid pity party when I think about Jesus shedding blood for me to have victory and deliverance from the sin of self-pity, self-absorption, and self-focus?

As I focus on Jesus, on His work on the cross, on the glorious gospel and my unworthiness to receive His great grace . . . my self-pity evaporates. 

His glorious love flowing from the cross overshadows all.

Invite me to your pity-party today and tell me how you counter the temptation to stay there.

6 Comments

  • Vicki

    Oh, Kim! This was God-ordained! I almost never check my e-mail this early in the morning, but God had something for me in it today! I woke up in the wee hours smack dab in the middle of a pity party, and I need to see this post as a gentle reprimand and an encouragement to refocus – straight from a loving Heavenly Father who knows how destructive that way of thinking is to His child. He is personal, isn’t He?! He will complete what He has begun, won’t He?!

    My journey thus far more deeply into the praying life has been amazing! And yet there are times when I feel my faith falter, and this morning is one of those times. Thank you for listening to the Holy Spirit – He is definitely using this post to speak to at least one woman who needs to remember afresh that this is not her party!!

    I shall meet with my Redeemer now, and I know He will meet me – right where I am…but not leave me there!

    Gratefully,
    Vicki

  • Kara

    Oh Kim…I cannot begin to tell you how anointed this post is for me today. I was going to avoid all media today, but wanted to at least ready your post…and all I can say is, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you for reminding us once again of the Gospel. I feel completely broken-
    hearted over my own actions and thoughts lately as well as a rebuke I received this week that has my heart reeling. I am going to commit to re-read this post every single day until it’s rooted in my heart AND head.

  • Kimberly Wagner

    Dear Vicki ~

    I am so thankful to hear how God used this! He is faithful. And I’m thankful for His reprimands . . . I so need His Fatherly care continually! Thank you for sharing, it encourages me so much when I hear that God uses this site to speak to someone’s heart.

    Blessings, friend ~

  • Kimberly Wagner

    Hello Kara ~

    It is so good to hear from you, friend! Thank you so much for sharing your heart and speaking transparently. I am joining you in prayer! God delights in your intentional approach as you take a stand for His glory!

    Love and prayers for you ~

  • Mary Jo Mayfield

    When I am in a pity party, I’ve learned that to remain there means I am practicing vanity! If I’ve had conversation with the Saviour already that day,I will (usually) come back to view my Lord ‘s perspective in the situation. The whole situation may be teaching me observation skills from His point of view, patience, or something more. It also may be that I’m just part of a picture He has painted for someone else’s edification. The more I learn to be like Him, the less often I fall into self pity, and the more I’m able to think of the one who hurt me. But, I know this if ever I think that I’ve arrived in my Christian walk, I can, have, and will still fail. Praise Him for His patience with me!

  • Kimberly Wagner

    Hello Mary Jo ~

    I am all about praising Him for His mercy, grace, and definitely patience with me!

    Thanks for sharing your heart ~