14 “Yet I curse the day I was born!
May no one celebrate the day of my birth.
15 I curse the messenger who told my father,
“Good news—you have a son!”
16 Let him be destroyed like the cities of old
that the Lord overthrew without mercy.
Terrify him all day long with battle shouts,
17 because he did not kill me at birth.
Oh, that I had died in my mother’s womb,
that her body had been my grave!
18 Why was I ever born?
My entire life has been filled
with trouble, sorrow, and shame.”
Jeremiah 20:14-18, NLT
One of our most common battles is with the sin of self pity. I looked “self-pity” up in the dictionary and found the following definition: “A self-indulgent dwelling on one’s own sorrows or misfortunes.” When we view ourselves, we will engage things that are hurting us, and when we dwell on those things we are saddened and depressed.
Believe it, or not, our pride is at the center of self pity. When we start to dwell on our hurts continuously–whether they are real or imagined–we start to push out the Holy Spirit. For years I have been victimized by pain, and hurt. I perceived the “slights” from people to be worth dwelling on to a morbid degree.
I live in Alaska, and one year, I went commercial fishing for halibut. It was very hard work. When we made it back to port, the captain cheated me out of some of the wages that I was due. I was so angry, I felt I would explode. And this man professed to be a believer! Even though it was only $400.00, I carried an anger and a resentment over those stolen wages. I was hurt and bitter, and things festered. I tried to forget, and forgive but things only grew worse.
Our hearts are like a ball of soft wax. They get “rolled” around through the dirt, and the gravel. They pick-up things that are embedded quickly, and the clean wax becomes full of dirty ugliness. This was never the intent with the Father. And rather than clean up we choose to be hurt, dwelling over all injuries that we have absorbed.
Full of self pity, we feed on ourselves. And we have a voracious appetite. The prophet, Jeremiah turned on himself. Afflicted, and miserable he wanted to die. Everything inside was filled with misery. A few years ago I went through an exceptionally dark time. I had this mental picture of a huge fountain in a city square. Rather than flowing with fresh water, it spewed out filth. It was a “feces fountain.” A sewer bubbling in a beautiful place.
That is how I once pictured myself, full of stink, the feces fountain. Bursting out a stream of sewage. So much of this is based out of self pity. I was dealing with many morbid feelings and thoughts. I would dwell on the past, and combined with present issues created a nasty concoction.
Self pity is evil, it is a form of self-destruction. We come to the place where we can’t imagine forgiveness. To be forgiven means self-acceptance. And we simply can’t accept ourselves. We are way too evil, we are filthy, and we seem to want to be forever filthy.
Self pity is pride. Humility is repentance. We honestly need to move through this, and start liking ourselves. There is no question we have operated out of ugliness and our personal sin. But all of a sudden in the midst of our evil, faith steps out and we must believe that every sin is hidden by the blood of the Lamb.