Why Self Pity (Not Trying) Is Much Worse Than Failing

Below is a letter of encouragement to a Jesus filled friend who struggles with self pity and sometimes wonders if he should even try. Several times at the height of his self pity, the Lord had him come across a person who delights in Jesus even though the man was confined to a wheelchair. My friend marveled at what the Lord was showing Him. He understood that he is not to indulge in self pity. And that our joy can be something apart from our circumstances. So here is my letter to him below.



Yes, I believe the Lord is showing you something. We all want to be the victim. And yet, we all have no excuse. With me, I want to yell and complain about my mom. And I’m partly right. My mom is not an easy person to love. I can find many flaws with her.

However, I am called to look through the eyes of faith…As if I really believe (and I do) that the Lord’s promises are tried and true. And so contrary to my feelings or my intrinsic goodness, I move forward according to what I know (regardless of how it feels). But I also ask the Lord for wisdom. For I want to avoid the traps and pitfalls of the Enemy. So sometimes, boundaries are in order.

It’s OK to set these boundaries after thoughtful prayer. The Lord loves it when we embrace wisdom.

This is what the Lord is calling you to do as well. He will give you wisdom on when to talk to your wife… and He will direct you on when to seek alone time so you can recharge with Jesus.

This is good practice for your soon to be born son as well. You are not prepared to be a father. BUT WHO IS!

Don’t get your panties in wad if you make mistakes. EVERY PARENT MAKES MISTAKES. And on a personal note: YOU SUCK. (and so do I) When you screw up, simply go to the Lord and confess, repent, and then apologize as He directs you. It’s all training.

You can afford to fail because Jesus always has your back. Or did you think that the spiritually mature got that way overnight? NO way! Like the toddler Jesse Owens or Usain Bolt, think about how many times they tried, they fell, and they got up again, over and over and over…

But don’t take my word for it. See what Scripture says.

Hebrews 5:14 says “but solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.

Read the subtext there, and get off your high horse of self pity and inadequacy.

Yes, they got there after screwing up. Just as you did. (and me too for that matter.) They got there by falling down again and again and again. They trained themselves through their failures. It’s called practice.

Who rides a bike and succeeds without first falling down? NO ONE. So don’t be afraid of failing. But be very afraid NOT TO TRY. For without faith it is impossible to please God. And self pity is no excuse for either of us. This is your biggest challenge. Failing is entirely OK. But your self pity (and mine) is merely a camouflage for our lack of faith.

We can have it here and there. But it better not be the default position for long. This is why Jerusalem fell. They chose to have unbelief! But you and I simply choose to go forward, hapless and weak as we are. Yes, we fail, but only to get up again and again in faith (after lots of whining and complaining of course). But nevertheless, the Lord honors us; and He blesses us with success.

So don’t get hung up on always getting it right the first time. God cares more about us ending well than how many times we fail beforehand. See the Scripture below for proof:

Matthew 21:28
“What do you think? A man had two sons. He went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work in the vineyard today.’ 21:29 The boy answered, ‘I will not.’ But later he had a change of heart and went. 21:30 The father went to the other son and said the same thing. This boy answered, ‘I will, sir,’ but did not go. 21:31 Which of the two did his father’s will?” They said, “The first.” Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, tax collectors and prostitutes will go ahead of you into the kingdom of God! 21:32 For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him. But the tax collectors and prostitutes believed him. Although you saw this, you did not later change your minds and believe him.”

It’s OK for us to be like the first son, who like the tax collectors and prostitutes initially whined and complained.  God loves us even when we’re messy. Yes, many of us are slow moving. Often we grumble and take a while to get started. But even then, our job is to be like those above, who eventually got the picture and went forward in faith! It’s always better to trust in the Lord and fail, then to not trust in Him and never try. The fact is that Jesus has our back. So let’s live that way in all we say, think and do!


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