- Sunday: 9am & 11am
Several years ago I read a book by Jerry Bridges entitled, Respectable Sins. In it Bridges says,
On the whole, we appear to be more concerned about the sins of society than we are the sins of the saints. In fact, we often indulge in what
This book was timely in my life and really blew me away by helping me see my own besetting sins, and helped me come to a better, real, grasp of "sin is sin".
Most often it's those "respectable sins" that lie beneath the surface that
I agree with Justin Taylor when he says, "It seems like a neglected and respectable sin that has been downplayed". Self-pity is
Self-pity can manifest itself in varying ways and in varying people (most people at one time or another?). Here are some helpful things to consider from Pastor Kevin DeYoung regarding this sin, "Be vigilant against self-pity when it spots like gangrene in your heart. Nothing good comes from feeling sorry for myself when people don't like my ideas, or misjudge my motives, or forget all the good I've done in the past. Crying out to God is one thing. A very good thing too. But self-pity is not that. Self-pity is crying out in the echo chamber of my own little world. It's issuing a lament just to take pleasure in hearing the lament over and over."
Pastor John Piper has made a helpful comparison of boasting and self-pity, which are both manifestations of pride, "Boasting is the response of pride to success. Self-pity is the response of pride to suffering. Boasting says, 'I deserve admiration because I have achieved so much.' Self-pity says, 'I deserve admiration because I have suffered so much.' Boasting is the voice of pride in the heart of the strong. Self-pity is the voice of pride in the heart of the weak. Boasting sounds self-sufficient. Self-pity sounds self-sacrificing. The reason self-pity does not look like pride is that it appears to be so needy. But the need arises from a wounded ego. It doesn't come from a sense of unworthiness, but from a sense of unrecognized worthiness. It is the response of unapplauded pride."
I've chosen to sin in self-pity before, and I'm sure I will again; and I'm sure it's not a far stretch to say that you have too. Here's the good news though for folks like you and me, Jesus never gave way to self-pity. It's not that He didn't have the opportunity to, it's just the fact that He never did. Not sure, read this:
[Jesus] committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not
All I can say is that self-pity would be just a part of the sinful things I would probably be tempted to do and most likely choose to sin in if that was me. What's awesome though is that this passage continues,
He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his
Jesus, himself, took on our sin, including that of self-pity, as if it was he who had sinned in self-pity. Why?! So that those who would put their trust in him would die to sin and live to righteousness! Are you struggling with self-pity? Let me encourage you to stop, right now, and repent for this sin before God. God through the Holy Spirit wants to help you look to Jesus and be reminded that He, the One who committed no sin, took on the penalty for your sin of self-pity; Jesus died for your sins, every last one of them, so that you could stand right before Holy God and then subsequently be empowered by the Holy Spirit to leave behind self-pity and live in a manner pleasing to God. I know that this is easier said than done when you're in the midst of a self-pity kick, but take heart, God is at work in you...He's for you, not against you, and in Christ, through the Holy Spirit, God is empowering you to put off the old ways of thinking and doing and to put on the new ways that are righteous, good, and pleasing in His sight.