I wish that I could say that when this creature appears in your life that it is indeed a wicked monster. I wish that I could say that it is a two-headed beast that issues sulfurous vapors from its nostrils. I wish that I could tell you that you could catch of a whiff of a disgusting odor that emanates from it, something you smell long before you ever see. I wish that I could tell you that it was a fire-breathing dragon whose scales rattled down a long serpentine body. I wish that if you even knew it was near that such a fear would seize you that the hair on your neck and arms would stand up and that a panic would clutch at your throat nearly immobilizing you. . . . . But sadly enough when this “beast” enters the life of a man, rarely does a sense of vigilance or concern awaken. The premonition that something sinister is about to happen is absent.
When this two-headed beast enters your life, he is so well-dressed and debonair, that immediately you will listen to the soothing voice that flows from his silver tongue. Surely, this “beast” means no harm. He is too presentable, too right, too becoming, too decent, too proper. He is not lewd, nor disgusting, nor improper. This “beast” generally takes your side. His advice is overwhelmingly right. But he still is a two-headed beast, may you never forget that. This two-headed beast of self-pity and blame, at times, slides into all of our lives.
When you sit as the minority the two-headed beast of self-pity and blame will ultimately ruin you. Self-pity wants you to feel sorry for yourself, sorry that you do not have the correct “talents”, the right “time”, the right “opportunity”, or the right “connections.” Or blame will cause you to look at the blessings of others and prescribe some “reason” as to why God is working with them and your life remains in the proverbial holding pattern.
Self-pity usually rears its ugly head after some great defeat and at times even after some great accomplishment. Self-pity brings on a great dirge of whining, crying, and wallowing. All over again the scene of Ahab’s pathetic misery when Naboth refused to give him the heritage is repeated. Time is spent seeking a sympathetic ear for the miserable circumstances that are consuming our lives. Never fear there are always plenty of “Jezebels” around to concoct some plan that will bring grief to everyone involved if she has her way.
Five observations come to me when I consider the battle against self-pity and blame:
- 1. Both are a strange form of twisted pride. (Note Proverbs 3:34; 6:16-17; 29:23 for what God thinks about pride.)
- 2. Both will foster a sense of isolation which creates a greater potential for failure. (Note the benefits of fellowship in Psalm 55:14 and Philippians 2:1-2. You need me and I definitely need you.)
- 3. Both inhibit personal spiritual growth, growth of churches, and growth of those to whom you have been called to lead. (Note Matthew 15:14; 23:16-24; Isaiah 9:16; 56:10-11.)
- 4. It will hinder a dependence on God. One will think that his own talents, gifts, etc. are responsible for growth. You are working in a spiritual kingdom and not an earthly kingdom. (Note Luke 18:11-14. There is quit a tale told here!!! Pair this text with Revelation 3:17.)
- 5. It robs the soul of faith, hope, and creativity.
Remember that the place you are serving has great potential for revival and church growth. It has great room for personal growth. Don’t let your heart get contaminated with the biases and prejudices of self-pity and blame.