Oswald (or Oz as I just now affectionately made up calling him) had this to say yesterday,
The first thing God does is get us grounded on strong reality and truth. He does this until our cares for ourselves individually have been brought into submission to His way for the purpose of His redemption. Why shouldn’t we experience heartbreak?Through those doorways God is opening up ways of fellowship with His Son. Most of us collapse at the first grip of pain. We sit down at the door of God’s purpose andenter a slow death through self-pity. And all the so-called Christian sympathy of others helps us to our deathbed. But God will not. He comes with the grip of the pierced hand of His Son, as if to say, “Enter into fellowship with Me; arise and shine.” If God can accomplish His purposes in this world through a broken heart, then why not thank Him for breaking yours?
We are made to pity. We were designed to take pity on those in dire distress. The difficulty of our current dilemma is that we more often than not aim this pity on ourselves exclusively. Who better to provide an excuse for us than us? Who knows how much we deserve better than us? Who knows how much we put up with better than us? If we are following Jesus, all the more. We forgive sins committed against us and look for opportunities to display grace. We do not say everything that comes to mind for the sake of dying to ourselves and promoting unity in the body. We do so and secretly, sometimes, we get pissed about it. And we pity ourselves.
And like Romans 1 suggests, we are eager to come along side those who will fan this fire to flame. We find refuge in the company of others also taking pity on themselves. We literally have pity parties. We all get together and worship ourselves in front of others who are also worshipping themselves. We applaud them for doing so because we like worshipping ourselves too. It feels good. It feels good to be in bad company. It makes badness feel good. We prefer the company of comfort at any cost to the companionship of Christ.
This is not a diatribe rooted in the purpose of doing away with honesty. If we are having doubts and pity for ourselves, we should talk to others about these things. But we should do so in a spirit of confession. We assume that the commonness of a struggle is what provides comfort to endure it. It is not the common pitfalls of man that comfort, but the uncommon crucifixion of Christ.
It is hard to die to yourself. It is very difficult. Do not give in, however, to the desire to find comfort in resisting it. Do not extend this pseudo-Christian sympathy to others anymore than you seek it for yourselves. Provide REAL comfort in Christ. Point people to Jesus. Point yourself to Jesus. In Him are all things and in Him we inherit all that is His. Praise God! Included in all things, however, is His suffering and perseverance. Do you want perseverance or do you want luxury? A life of patience or an isolated life lived in the inner self, finding comfort in pity aimed primarily at one’s own circumstances, hardened and resistant to the needs of others.