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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

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There are many sad things about self-pity.  One is that nobody else knows about it.  Self-pity eats us up silently.  Unchecked it can do us serious harm—much more than the events that brought it on in the first place.

Consider Elijah.  God had demonstrated tremendous support for the prophet as together they decimated Baalism with all the false prophets, and brought all Israel back to God.  It seemed like nothing was impossible with God.  Yet, hours later the valiant prophet fled from a single woman.  Imagine what effect that knowledge had on the thousands who had just returned to Elijah’s powerful God!  If God had not intervened, there is no way of knowing how far into the wilderness the prophet would have run, and when, if ever, he would have returned.

The problem with self-pity is that it has never improved our situation.  In fact, it can damage our health causing depression and stress.

Through the first ten verses our psalmist wallows in self-pity using “I” “me” and “myself,” more than ten times.  Fortunately the last few “I’s” draw him out of his pit.  They draw his attention to God and there his depression ends.   As he meditates on God’s work he forgets his petty problems.

Gordon Christo
Secretary, Southern Asia Division