One of the chapters that surprised me that I gained much from was the one on loneliness. One statement she made in the addendum on loneliness was shared from her friend, “being alone and lonely is not the same thing. If you are alone (and bored) you can find someone to do something with. If you are lonely your thoughts are wrong and most always involve self-pity. Martha Peace shared it was her favorite chapter because it caused her to think about and desire the Lord and it quickly became my favorite too.
I know we can all relate to self-pity as women, wives and mothers. How many times do we focus on our needs that aren’t met? Unfair situations or circumstances? Self pity is a selfish tendency that takes our eyes off Christ and puts them on ourselves. We forget that “God works all things together for good to those who love Him and are called according to His purpose”. Are we able to give God “thanks in all things”?
We need to be reminded that God has a purpose for every situation that comes into our lives and His purpose in each and every one of them is to mold us into the image of His Son Jesus Christ.
“The antidote to self-pity is delighting in the Lord.” ~ Martha Peace
Practical Ways to Repent of Self-Pity
1. Be discerning about what you are feeling and thinking. If you feel lonely and it is painful for you, realize what you are thinking. Write your thoughts down and analyze each one of them biblically.
2. Cultivate gratefulness to God and to your husband. Think “thank you” thoughts to God often especially when something doesn’t go your way.
3. Learn to be content. There are a lot of material things we can definitely live without and there is a lot of attention from our husbands that we can also live without. Give your husband blessings instead and think about your responsibility before God to be content.
4. Realize that God could remove you from the circumstance today if He wanted to but that God’s purposes are higher than yours. And if the Lord does remove you from the circumstance of your husband being aloof or closed off from you, you don’t want to be ashamed of yourself before the Lord that you whined and complained and were angry and bitter when (looking back) you can see how God was working even though you didn’t know it.
5. Realize that God has a purpose. Romans 8:28-29 is true.
6. God wants you to go against your feelings and think and do what is right. He will, then, help you not to slip into your self-centered pity-party, “poor me” routine.
7. Adopt a high view of God through reading and thinking about the Psalms and also reading good books by godly men and women who challenge your thinking. Read with a dictionary handy in case you need to look up a word. Read when you are awake and clear-headed. Also underline sentences that stand out to you so that you can refer back to them.
8. View time alone as a grace gift from God to spend more time with the Lord reading His Word and learning about Him and talking to Him.
~Taken from The Excellent Wife by Martha Peace (emphasis mine)
“O glorious God! The vast oceans You hold in Your hand and the billions of stars You hold in their courses are but faint pictures of Your infinite greatness. Indeed, You spoke the universe into existence in the beginning and now by Your mighty power You hold it all together from hour to hour. Fill our minds with awe and adoration as we think upon Your greatness. Fill our hearts with gratitude and gladness as we realize that with all Your infinite power and sovereignty, You have condescended to be our God. Through Jesus, Your Son, we praise you. Amen.”
Something Deadly – Seeking Him
3 Steps to Breaking the Cycle of Self Pity – Counseling One Another
Wretched: Why You Are Discouraged