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So, How've You Been? Killing Self-Pity

Fulfilled - The NIV Devotional Bible for Single Women 9780310407133

We are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. – Romans 8:37

I heard about a man who had just come through major surgery. When he slowly opened his eyes, his wife was there waiting and smiling. He looked around the room to see his children also smiling at him. After he was more awake, his wife handed him a stack of get-well cards from family and friends. Some were Biblically inspiration, some were kind and sweet and some were humorous and brought a smile to his eyes.

The front of one particular card had a collage of the myriad disasters from the life of Paul the apostle – pain, sickness, suffering, shipwreck, insults, being in the sea for three days and nights, beatings, stonings, and more.

The man was shocked and thought, What sick person sent this to me? How is this going to help me get better?

Then he opened the card, and all it said was,

So, how’ve you been?

The man broke into laughter. He suddenly recognized that the successful surgery he had undergone, even though quite painful, in no way compared to the repeated and life-threatening sufferings Paul had endured.

It is easy to focus on our own issues and indulge in unhealthy doses of self-pity, isn’t it? We can fall into the trap of thinking that we are the only ones with such problems. For instance, you may have single friends who are going through difficulties right now too – sickness, disease, grief from losing a mate or child, separation, divorce, unemployment, financial struggles, problems with children. These difficulties are extremely frustrating, emotionally draining, and sometimes totally debilitating.

Self-pity is our worst enemy, and if we yield to it, we can never do anything wise in this world. – Helen Keller

So, how’ve you been?

~ Mary Hollingsworth

O Lord, please help me not to feel sorry for myself but to recognize that as difficult as my struggles are, others may be facing even more critical problems. Help me to reach out to them.

Excerpted from Fulfilled – The NIV Devotional Bible for Single Women by Zondervan, copy Zondervan, 2014.

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Your Turn

Does self-pity creep up on you before you even recognize it? Do you find yourself losing perspective sometimes and forgetting those around you who are truly going through terrible circumstances? Who can you reach out to today and how? Come join the conversation on our blog! We would love to hear from you about killing self-pity and caring for others! ~ Devotionals Daily