One’s feelings can go on a rollercoaster ride over the map in no time. Sometimes they are triggered by thoughts, or often more deeply by beliefs and judgments. It’s the latter we ought to be more concerned about. If there is one negative emotional attitude that I have struggled with more often than any other it would be: self-pity. I think one reason is that where it lives within me I unconsciously and flatly believe that people and their expectations are unfairly aimed at me. I can be so convinced of this in these areas that I see myself as a perpetual victim. Hence the “woe is me” mentality. A second reason self-pity can live within me is that we humans can have a jealous and/or selfish construct within that is not completely dismantled in every area-yet. The third reason is conceit.
It isn’t until one confronts the lies behind their self-pity (believing in unfairness, being committed to one’s jealous/selfish attitudes, and living out one’s pride), and humbles oneself that progress can be made. One must confess the sin structures in their heart and mind to God, and repent in prayer. Next, one renews their mind in each context by changing his or her thinking, expectations, attitudes and beliefs. Then once they can resist the devil, they are completely free of the areas under scrutiny. This is the road map. But how do we practically proceed? What does it mean to humble oneself and to repent in prayer? And how is that different from renewing the mind? How does one resist the devil? How does it fit all together? There is a lot to explore and take hold of here.
As one learns to process their baggage of sin, their attitudes will get healthier. Additionally, the more one gives in a kind way to those whom their path crosses every day. Unfortunately, there can be so much deadwood in one’s heart obscuring the conscience and confusing one’s understanding of the transformational process. Thus, it can be a very slow process. Slow, not stagnant. The better we recognize Jesus’ voice the more progress we will make as He is ultimately our healer.
Business with God
For those who take God seriously, there is movement when they learn how to do business with God. And God is the one who gets the credit for all the positivity, warmth, kindness and caring that are growing in and pouring out of one as one progresses. The devil is into work. But God is more so, especially for our benefit. The devil tries to plant lies that harden our hearts into stones. These stones in our hearts can be thrown at those we judge and get angry with. But each fallen human has soft spots in our hearts that, when we are willing, enable us to be kind and not selfish towards other people. Where the soft spots are within their heart one is able to practice some humility because we are able to love in that area.
Humility can grow
Humility is not an all or nothing thing. We can grow it in one area, and we can lose it in another area. Humility means love is acted out; whereas pride means one’s self-righteousness-reigns. God only needs a little soft ground in our hearts to start a reconstruction project re-birth or a “born from above” journey. But how does one practically proceed? Learning to confess one’s sins to God, to pray humbly and wisely, and to renew the attitudes of the mind are not accomplished overnight. However, they are the basics that help us move towards maturity. This can be learned so that self-pity and its strongholds can be dismantled. Afterward, love will flourish.
For more ideas on how to truly practice the basics in a transforming friendship with Jesus, check out my book called, “Dismantling the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil Within So Love Can Thrive”. You will learn how one grows in the basics of Christian life in areas such as caring, humility, repentance, renewing the mind, joy, faith, hope, and love. With these tools, one can move out of self-pity, instead of regressing/stagnating in their relationship with God