My posts are often birthed from thoughts I have that are whittled down to Tweets/Facebook posts that are then rehydrated into a blog post. This post is one such example stemming from this Tweet:
One of the best ways to fight discouragement is to encourage others. Pity parties are a paralyzing manifestation of pride. #others
We all face discouragement at different times, on different levels, and spurred by different circumstances. Trust me, I know. I’m a pastor. There is no other profession in which discouragement is so embedded in the job description and inseparable from the vocation. So, as I write this, know that I speak not merely from the understanding of biblical truth but also the reality of human life.
The danger of discouragement is the temptation to dwell and feel sorry for oneself. Pity parties are paralyzing in that the focus becomes self and not others, me and not Christ. Hence, it is a valid definition of pride. However, to allow a pity party to continue can lead to even greater devastation. The hellish tentacles of that pity party soon engulf others in a sinful way. One easily begins to start blaming others, criticizing, and judging. Assumptions are conveniently made to feed your sinful thinking. What is forged in pride will not soon depart from that original sin, so the pride begins to convince you that you deserve better. The unbiblical sense of entitlement convinces you that others should have treated you better, served you more, or simply been a better friend. Your attitude that began with only thinking of yourself now thinks of others but in a horrible, godless way: as the enemy. You harbor bitterness and hold grudges all the while that chip on your shoulder gets bigger and bigger and bigger.
All from a simple pity party.
Friends, when you are discouraged, that’s okay. How you respond is what is most crucial. Take your eyes off yourself and put them on someone else. Upset that nobody liked your Facebook comment? Go like someone else’s. Sad that nobody called you on your special day? Pick up the phone and encourage someone else. Upset that nobody notices? Notice.
Skip the bath, keep the ice cream in the freezer, ditch the pity party and serve!