We all have them… the occasional pity party. If you read my last blog post, Calling All Control Freaks, you would have gotten a small glimpse into my most recent pity party (20 minutes full of drama and crocodile tears). Today, I want to take you a little further into my tantrum and a little deeper into the truths that God spoke to me through this ordeal.
If you’ve read along, you’ll note that I spoke about trusting in God and changing your outlook/attitude in the post that’s linked above. Both of these are fine and dandy, but let’s talk about the journey to this destination of trust and change.
As I reflect back on that week, I think of key times… times when I could have thought a little differently and acted a little differently. You see, in the midst of the pity party, I had a “woe is me” attitude. The journey to trust and change was rocky for me, and I don’t believe that I can say that I’ve “arrived” just yet.
Nevertheless, let me walk you through the week.
I would lay in bed and watch movies… or lay in bed and scroll on Facebook and Instagram… or just nap.
What’s wrong with that? You needed rest and relaxation, Mace.
You’re right. There’s nothing wrong with rest and relaxation. My body needed both, but personally, I took mine to the extreme. What do I mean? While it’s not wrong to watch movies or check social media or nap, I found that my entire day went by without me so much as looking up from one of those screens. Wasted time. I could have used that time a lot more wisely.
I could have:
- Asked one of my family members to play one of my many DVDs of sermons or Bible studies that I have instead of the garbage that I chose to watch all day
- Listened to sermons on my phone
- Listened to uplifting and motivating podcasts on my phone
- Put out more content on my Instagram and Facebook that would uplift others
I would be in the chiropractor’s office, getting the best massage that I’ve ever had, and what would I be doing? Pouting. Instead of attending this pity party for one…
I could have:
- Made a mental note of all that I have to be thankful for
- Read my Proverbs 31 Ministries First 5 App devotion
- Show the joy of the Lord through my words and actions to the staff
- Show the joy of the Lord to other patients
I want you to pay attention to the bolded items, the one that is last on each list. I don’t mean for it to be last in the sense that it’s our last resort. Rather, I listed it last because… if all else fails… if you feel that you can do nothing else… you can pray.
In the midst of my pity party, there was pride.
There was pride beforehand certainly… the pride of doing it all myself. Whether I thought the actual words or not, my actions spoke volumes.
I don’t need anyone else.
I can do it myself.
I’m the productivity machine!
Well, God allowed a situation that showed me: I do need other people, and I cannot do it alone. Most importantly, I need God, and I cannot live this life effectively apart from Him.
There was pride in the midst of the circumstance as well. There was a conscious decision to fritter my time away. I had the thought…
Maybe God allowed this to happen so that I could have uninterrupted time with Him.
I couldn’t go to work. I couldn’t sit up in bed with my laptop to do my homework for my online program. I couldn’t go out anywhere to hang out with family or friends.
And even if I couldn’t do the things that I mentioned in numbers one through four on each list, I could do number five.
I could pray.
I could spend time with God that way.
But there was pride…
If God allowed it, why should I pray? If He cared about me, I wouldn’t be in this mess.
My hands are shaking as I type. It’s hard to admit out loud our anger towards God. It’s hard to admit our shortcomings for the world to see… It’s hard to admit failure when in retrospect the situation really wasn’t dire at all nor did it warrant my reaction… but I admit them here because God has called me to do so… because by doing so, I may help someone else.
So, this is my plea to y’all… the readers… and to myself most importantly.
- Let’s search our hearts for pride and anything else that is an offense to God.
“Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”
“Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.”
Man did I fall, friends. Man did I mess it all up. I wasted precious time with my Savior that I will never get back because of pride… because I was too busy pouting to pray.
I won’t let pride and pouting be a part of my story any longer. I won’t let guilt over missed opportunity and time stifle growth. I will use this situation as a springboard into a deeper relationship with Christ, and I thank Him for the mercy and grace that He extends me daily.
2. Remember that God forgives, and He forgives freely.
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
1 John 1:9
“Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the Lord.’ And You forgave the guilt of my sin.”
3. God hates sin, but He extends grace to the sinner.
“…but where sin increased, grace increased all the more.”
Let there be no confusion. This is not a “free pass” to sin and then ask forgiveness and repeat that process over and over because it’s “covered.” This is God extending a way out of the filth that we put ourselves in. This is God showing His love toward us so that we do not have to live a life of sin and defeat. Instead, we can be victorious because He provides the strength that we need to live this Christian life… and when we happen to mess up because we’re imperfect, His forgiveness and grace is there to cleanse us and put us back on the right track.
Just to recap (because I need the reminder), search our hearts for pride and anything else that is offensive to God. Embrace His forgiveness. Embrace His grace.
“Jesus straightened up and asked her, ‘Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?’ ‘No one, sir,’ she said. ‘Then neither do I condemn you,’ Jesus declared. ‘Go now and leave your life of sin.'”
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PICTURE IS NOT MINE