Summary: Pity is natural but is for others not ourselves. Self Pity is dangerous. (1)Everyone is subject to self pity (2ADVERSITY IS NOT MEANT TO LEAD US TO SELF PITY BUT TO STRENGHTH IN CHRIST(3)Turning to God in our self pity is our hope for deliverance from it
No Place for a Pity Party MT 16:21-24
If we think in terms of thankfulness we might say that there are many emotions that would compliment a heart that is filled with thanksgiving. For example love compliments thanksgiving, happiness compliments thanksgiving, joy and peace are productive to a heart of thanksgiving
but what about that which is not productive to thanksgiving. Certainly hate, envy, disgust, or even pity can hinder a heart from being thankful.
Consider with me that pity is a real emotion and it has it’s place but pity is largely an emotion we should have toward others and not our selves. I
say that realizing that a lot of people have faced difficult, devastating and even deadly circumstances at times and their situations and circumstances are worthy of our sympathy and certainly our prayers...HOWEVER there still exists no more dangerous sort of pity than self pity.
Jesus serves as an example of someone who if anyone could have warranted having a pity party for himself. He would face what no one had ever faced. What no one else could bare to face....
and yet Christ went to the cross not deserving it but taking the weight of our sin upon Himself as He was about to die an agonizing death upon the cross for which He did not deserve but He took our place of guilt in order to remove our sins.
Jesus saw the cross on the horizon He knew the difficult fate that lie ahead even as He lived out His earthly ministry. He spoke of what would happen to Him to his friends and followers and he did not say.
“Woe is me...”
He did not sing a song of pity words of”.. troubles...I’ve got more than anyone”
. He did not whine or complain or pout about the cross. He did not ask for...... or throw his own pity party.
Look at His words and how they give no indication of pity.
21 From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.
22Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. "Never, Lord!" he said. "This shall never happen to you!"
23Jesus turned and said to Peter, "Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men."
24Then Jesus said to his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.
Pity for one’s self will lead us to be weak.
Pity for one’s self will lead us to give up.
It will lead us to hopelessness....and to a sense of defeat
and will ultimately lead us to quit.
As Jesus saw the approaching of the cross...
He did not say...I can’t do it...
It’s just to hard...But He said I am going,
I will persevere.
I am convinced that perseverance is a great prescription for curing self pity.
What if Jesus had not persevered but what if He had thought to have a pity party instead.
You say impossible!...unthinkable!...
Well fortunately for you and me Jesus loved us enough and did not take pity on Himself but on us instead and it lead Him to Calvary to the cross which purchased our salvation.
Turn to MT 4
I. Who is subject to self pity.?
Who might be tempted to self pity?....to have a pity party.
The truth is that everyone is subject to the temptation of self pity.
Music artist Neil Diamond sang a song called Song Sung Blue.
It said "song sung blue everybody knows one.
Song sung blue every garden grows one."
Certainly all of us could be tempted to sing the blues of our life...but in all truthfulness Jesus has given us much to sing a song of joy about instead.
Even still we see that Jesus was tempted in ways that certainly could have lead to self pity.
In Mt chapter 4 where Jesus was fasting for forty days and the Bible clearly says "he was hungry."
Look at MT 4:1
1Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil.
2After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry.
3The tempter came to him and said, "If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread."
4Jesus answered, "It is written: ’Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.
Friends I am a Baptist and I like eating..... and I am not very successful at dieting. I can tell you after 40 days without food I could see the temptation to feel sorry for oneself.