The umm, let’s call it “blessing” of being called to write is that you really don’t have a whole lot of choice about transparency. If you’ve ever felt a out of sorts with a bout of self-pity I pray this blog post helps.
I was at an event with a close to a thousand people, among whom were some of my favorites. I had an awesome time, was encouraged in my faith, and chatted with people I have known and loved for a long time. Yet, I walked away a bit disquieted. Why? Because of 2 people. Out of nearly 1,000. Only T-W-O! Two people, albeit two I greatly admire, were polite but less than genuine in our interactions. I honestly don’t know how they actually feel about me. It just felt awkward and disingenuous to me and THAT had me feeling some kind of way for the rest of the day.
My angst continued from about noon until it peaked at 9 PM. I went to other appointments, counseled someone, prayed with a few people as I secretly wallowed in self-pity. I mean I rolled and frolicked in self-pity like a happy piglet in mud. I moaned to the Lord, asking Him over and over again, “Is it me? What’s wrong with me? Why don’t they like me?” On and on. Let me remind you this was two people… out of about 1,000!
After spending the day playing mental gymnastics trying to figure out how people I rarely see feel about me, I finally said, “Lord, I know I will find Your answer for me in Your word.” As I headed up the stairs to my bedroom with bible in hand, it was impressed upon my heart to read Psalms 95 and keep reading until the Lord prompted me to stop.
Psalms 96 begins with: “Sing a new song to the Lord; let the whole earth sing to the Lord.”
The first line of Psalms 97 is: “The Lord reigns! Let the earth rejoice!”
Psalms 98, 99, 100, and 101 respectively: “Sing a new song to the Lord…” “The Lord reigns!…” “Let the whole earth shout triumphantly to God…” and “I will sing of faithful love and justice; I will sing praise to you, Lord”
I stopped reading at Psalms 101. With a mild case of frustration, I sighed, “Lord, I appreciate Your word but I’m not sure how this relates to what I asked. What are You trying to tell me?” I closed my bible, turned over to go to sleep and before my head hit the pillow these words thundered in my heart,
“Change your tune!”
In other words, stop it with the self-focused whining and complaining. The defeating words I had sung all day frustrated the reality of being “in Christ”, blinding me to God’s truth and love. And the Lord was way over it! It was time to sing a new song. I laughed out loud then was embarrassed to realize how I allowed my thoughts to spiral out of control. While experiencing an amazing day with God.
There’s a reason Paul encourages us with: “Finally, believers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable and worthy of respect, whatever is right and confirmed by God’s word, whatever is pure and wholesome, whatever is lovely and brings peace, whatever is admirable and of good repute; if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think continually on these things [center your mind on them, and implant them in your heart].” (Philippians 4:8 AMP) He tells us why in verse 9:
“…and the God [who is the source] of peace and well-being will be with you.”
When our thoughts are focused on God and His Kingdom, His eternal presence and goodness becomes more real than temporary circumstances. His peace, contentment, and victory settle into our hearts, championing our identity and security in Him.
My real dilemma was not TWO people who may not have the warm-fuzzies for me. It was wrong thinking. A crooked focus. With frank directness and humor, Heavenly Father didn’t answer my questions but lovingly gave me the answer for the real mess lurking in my heart: “Change your tune!” He is with me. It doesn’t even matter if my perception was right and TWO, or two hundred, people don’t like me: The Lord reigns! Let the earth rejoice!
SOUND OFF: Let us know how God has helped you overcome self-pity. Comment below.