Several days ago I listed eight kinds of harmful thinking, and that we need to take control of our thoughts and self-talk because they control our actions and our emotions. Most people don’t make much of an effort to control their self-talk, but those who do are much more successful in living a life pleasing to the Lord and bearing much fruit with their life for the Lord.
One of the eight areas of “stinkin thinkin” is self-pity. It is the kind of thinking where you feel sorry for yourself; you feel like you are a victim, that no one loves you, and that God is picking on you. A thought that goes round and round in our head is, “I don’t deserve this; I deserve better than this; why is God doing this to me?”
Self-pity, poor me thinking will end up including another of the eight lousy thinking patterns, “bitter thinking,” and they will lead a person to depression, sadness, and extreme self-absorption.
I have struggled with self-pity in the past when I have felt unappreciated. When I recognize the thinking pattern I am in I set my mind on Philippians 2:5-9 and meditate on it. “Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name”
The goal is to thank and praise the Lord for my life, and look for all the good things I have in my life, and the good that I have experienced from Him.
A problem with self-pity thinking is that it is very addicting, and will pull us into this black hole that we get some kind of morbid enjoyment from. It is important that we catch this kind of thinking early and slap ourselves in the head, and don’t let it trap us. I have found that writing about the many blessings that I have experienced is an excellent exercise to put the brakes on this destructive thinking.