Let it go…let it go. We all recognize these words from a familiar Disney movie. Words that many times are much easier sung than done! How often do we hold on to minor offenses done to us by others…many times unknown by the “offender”? We either become angry and defensive or retreat into ourselves. I am guilty of this a lot, especially the retreating part. I am a sensitive person and am easily hurt by what I perceive as offenses by others: a casually spoken word meant to be funny; an unanswered text; feeling left out of a conversation. When this happens, I tend to shut down and wallow in my discomfort. I can easily let my mind be controlled by my hurt feelings and thoughts of how I was wronged. After a few days I’ll “get over it” but a small, black seed will take root in my heart and sprout over time, causing damage to my relationships, often with those I care about the most. Is wallowing in my own self-pity the Christian way to handle my emotions? Surely not, and God has been convicting me of this. The words “life without strife” keep coming up–a lifestyle I could never achieve without the Holy Spirit.
Part of the transformation God is doing in me is realizing that self-pity is actually a form of pride. We all think of pride as boasting about ourselves, or feeling like we are w-a-a-a-y better than everyone else, but know that pride can go both ways. Feeling terrible about yourself or offended by everyone else is pride. Either way we are focused more on ourselves than others, and even less on Christ. The Holy Spirit has been working hard in me to overlook these small offenses and offer grace and forgiveness instead. It is a freeing way to live. It’s really hard not to get hung up on how someone has hurt you, but the Bible offers wisdom on this in Proverbs 17:9: “Whoever covers an offense seeks love, but he who repeats a matter separates close friends.”
When we fix our eyes on what Jesus has done for us and develop an attitude of gratefulness, it pushes out self-pity and makes way for peace.
“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful” (Col. 3:15).
Becki is a wife and mother of four girls who is passionate about God’s Word and telling others about the saving grace and love of Jesus Christ. You can read more from Becki here. You can also listen to our Bible studies by tuning in to your favorite radio station, listening to our podcast on iTunes, or listening through TuneIn or Stitcher online radio.