From the archives of Oral Roberts

We all have to fight self-pity. It hits me the hardest when I have worked so hard that I am worn out in my body. Or when someone I admire says something negative about me. Or when I’m not feeling well and I’m not able to take the time to rest and get well. But whatever the cause, self-pity is an emotion we have all indulged in when we felt we were not being treated fairly.

Everyone has the need to feel appreciated, wanted, and loved. But there will be times when we won’t be treated that way. And at those times self-pity is not the answer, because once it’s unleashed, it can become a deadly emotion. It can destroy everything God has for us and wants us to be.

A businessman once told me that self-pity almost ruined his life. It was when he was facing a great financial crisis. He said, “Oral, I started to feel sorry for myself. I felt as though nobody else had ever faced what I was facing. I didn’t know where to turn. Then it dawned on me that I could go to God. Once I got down on my knees and renewed my relationship with Him, I felt like a new man. I said, ‘With God’s help, I’m through with self-pity. I am going to stop thinking only of myself and start thinking of others.’” He did, and it changed his life.

The problem with self-pity is “self.” We can become so bound up with ourselves and our own affairs that we don’t think of anyone else. The best cure for self-pity is to ask God’s forgiveness for selfishness, then go out and find someone you can help. Take seriously the Bible’s advice in Philippians 2:4 NLT which says, Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.

The cause of self-pity becomes amazingly unimportant when you are absorbed in helping others.