Temptation of Pity Parties

pity_partyLast week on her television show, Enjoying Everyday Life, Joyce Meyers preached on the keys to getting the breakthrough you have been praying for. One of those keys is resisting the temptation to indulge in a pity party, which is such a vulnerability for me. Meyers made the astute observation that even though we might have good reasons for engaging in pity parties, they are harmful to us and can interfere with the process of experiencing the breakthrough that we are seeking.

Like Meyers, I have many legitimate reasons to feel drawn toward a pity party. Both of us were sexually abused as children, and we grew into emotionally-wounded adults as a direct result of the child abuse. Both of us had to work very hard to heal from the pain, and neither of us was responsible for the damage that was inflicted upon us as children. The child abuse was unfair, and having to suffer through serious aftereffects from the abuse was also unfair. If I wanted to, I could build a strong case for my “right” to indulge in a pity party.

Meyers stated that when she complained to God about her abuser being responsible for her brokenness, God’s response was that this was true. However, not being responsible for the damage did not give her (or us) the “right” to treat other people – even our abusers – wrongly. Instead, we need to go for God healing and learn how to behave in a godly manner, even when our circumstances are unfair. That was a difficult lesson for me to learn, but it was also profoundly healing.

This week, we are going to explore the appeal of pity parties, why they are so destructive, and how to avoid them. As Joyce Meyers pointed out in other sermons, God promises to give us beauty for ashes (Is. 61: 3), but we don’t get to keep the ashes. If we want the beauty of emotional healing from our pain, we must part with the ashes of our self-pity. I loved my ashes and did not want to give them up: I enjoyed stewing in my bitterness toward my child abusers. However, I did want emotional healing, and to receive it, I had to give up the pity parties. The ashes are not worth the pain. The beauty is so much better.

To be continued…

[Graphic: Cartoon of Grace crying while holding balloons that are crying. Courtesy Bitmoji.]