Faith

Feeling Sorry For Myself

I’m really good at feeling sorry for myself. Any time someone treats me in a way I consider to be mean or unfair, I end up replaying that scenario over and over in my mind. See, I’m not very good on my feet, so after something happens I end up thinking of all the things I wish I could have said in the moment. Do you ever do that? Sometimes I even think about what would happen if I ran into that person again – what I would say and how I would put them in their place.

Doing this exercise is supposed to help me feel better about what happened, but I always end up anxious and upset. I don’t know why it never occurred to me that replaying situations in my mind is plainly and simply – feeling sorry for myself. Not only that, but it causes me to feel more and more angry toward the instigator.

Last week the Lord convicted my heart and showed me the foolishness of my actions! He also brought this passage of Scripture to my mind – and I really like the way The Message Bible translates Hebrews 12:15:

Work at getting along with each other and with God. Otherwise you’ll never get so much as a glimpse of God. Make sure no one gets left out of God’s generosity. Keep a sharp eye out for weeds of bitter discontent. A thistle or two gone to seed can ruin a whole garden in no time. Watch out for the Esau syndrome: trading away God’s lifelong gift in order to satisfy a short-term appetite. You well know how Esau later regretted that impulsive act and wanted God’s blessing—but by then it was too late, tears or no tears.

I haven’t been working at getting along with those people who have been unfair. By replaying those situations in my mind, I was satisfying my short-term appetite just as the passage warns! Those weeds of bitter discontent were making deep roots in my heart. I want God’s blessing, not bitterness. God’s lifelong gift is GRACE. I need His grace in my life just as much as the people who have wronged me need grace in their lives.

Bitterness

The temptation to feel sorry for myself probably won’t go away. But I am resolved to resist the temptation and to do what is right. God’s love is the diving board that launches me into the pool of loving others. He extended grace to me – I must extend it to others.

I hope you will join me in my new exercise – don’t feel sorry for yourself!

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These types of posts always make me wonder what happened or who treated the author unfairly. So I’ll just say I’m talking about a few different situations over several years. It wasn’t a friend, family member or anyone or in my church. 

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17 thoughts on “Feeling Sorry For Myself

  1. This reminds me of the movie, You’ve Got Mail, where Kathleen tells Joe that she can never come up with an answer to smart alecs. And maybe that is the way to react…do not give them the reaction they are hoping for. I have been working with my grands in this area about just being Kind. Kindness and manners are in very short supply in our culture and I think Kindness is such a witness to a lost world. I love the Bible verse….a good reminder for all of us.

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    1. I thought about that scene when I was writing this post! “You zing them. I must warn you, when you say the exact thing and the exact moment you mean to say it, remorse inevitably follows.” Good advice from Joe Fox! 🙂

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    1. Hi Matthew – thanks for your comment! You’re right, God does allow everything that happens and He can use it for our good and His glory. That’s a great way to look at situations that otherwise seem annoying and pointless. Thanks for sharing!

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  2. I tend to do the same things and replay hurtful/uncomfortable situations over and over again as if I could somehow change them. There’s wisdom in your words and advice to offer grace and not dwell so I will keep this in mind the next time I find myself brooding over something.

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  3. Thank you for your openness, Whitney, and for your encouragement in handling these situations in a godly manner. I needed the reminder 🙂

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  4. I just got to read this post and I am so in this mode as well. Unfortunately my situation does involve a close family member and a lifelong of deceit and who know what that I feel burdened with. I too go over it all in my years thinking how it all happened and what I might have done. Truth is I didn’t do anything and all the lies told to me won’t change but I can control my heart so it doesn’t eat and wither my spirit. I refuse to give her that ultimate control over me. I pray a lot about it and can only trust God knows my heart. Thanks for sharing!

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  5. What a great post! I try to remind myself of the Grace that has been given to us when I am frustrated with someone. I then remember that I also need to forgive and not be bitter. It can be difficult, for sure! I really enjoyed this post.

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