contributed by Jocelyn
As I have spoken with others a little bit about Lent this season, and as I have experienced it in myself, I have been finding that there are 2 attitudes that we can so quickly and easily take on when we deny ourselves something and when we suffer to any extent. One is an attitude of self-pity. "Poor me, I can't have this/do that", "Can't everyone see how much i am suffering here?" The other attitude is one of pridefulness. "I am doing such a good job of this. I can take charge of this/that in my life, I am doing a really good job of controlling this/that". Both of these attitudes can be incredibly destructive and pull us so far away from the center of it all, so far from Christ.
I have a daily devotional that has become incredibly relevant and significant in my life. In the past week or so there have been 2 entries that have stood out to me, which have corresponded with my thoughts about these attitudes of self-pity and pride that I believe can take hold of us all quite easily.
The entries are written in the perspective of God speaking to his children- words and scriptures which the Lord laid on author Sarah Young's heart. I would love to share them here.
from Jesus Calling, by Sarah Young
"Be on guard against self-pity. When you are weary or unwell, this demonic trap is the greatest danger you face. Don't even go near the edge of the pit. Its edges crumble easily, and before you know it, you are on the way down. It is ever so much harder to get out of the pit than to keep a safe distance from it. That is why I tell you to be on guard.
There are several ways to protect yourself from self-pity. When you are occupied with praising and thanking Me, it is impossible to feel sorry for yourself. Also, the closer you live to Me, the more distance there is between you and the pit. Live in the Light of My Presence by 'fixing your eyes on Me' then you will be able 'to run with endurance the race that is set before you' without stumbling or falling.
Psalm 89:15-16, Hebrews 12:1-2"
"Rest in My Presence, allowing me to take charge of this day. Do not bolt into the day like a race-horse suddenly released. Instead, walk purposefully with Me, letting Me direct your course one step at a time. Thank Me for each blessing along the way; this brings joy to both you and Me. A grateful heart protects you from negative thinking. Thankfulness enables you to see the abundance I shower upon you daily. Your prayers and petitions are winged into heaven's throne room when they are permeated with thanksgiving. 'In everything give thanks, for this is My will for you'.
Colossians 4:2, 1 Thessalonians 5:18"
One thing that provides some sort of solution to these attitudes of self-pity and pride is thankfulness. Having a heart full of praise. Recognizing that the Lord is providing for me and directing my path. He sees me and He knows me. He knows when I hurt and suffer, and He is a God of great love, mercy, and provision. He is in control- leading and guiding. I am not in charge of that [and that is certainly a good thing!]. When we give glory to Him for these things, He wants to bless us in return. He honors it. We are filled with joy. We are strengthened. We live in His Marvelous Light.
So I will try to go through my days with a song of praise on my lips. I will try to have thankfulness on every breath. I will do my best to give glory to my Lord in all things.
I am reminded of one of my favorite songs by a band called Page France. The song is called Jesus. I have posted a link below to the website where the song can be heard, and also a link to where you can find the lyrics.