So I've been living in a really bad attitude this week. Normally living in a bad attitude makes no sense and the proper preposition would be living with a bad attitude. But, well, you weren't part of my week (unless you are a few unfortunate people) so you just don't know. Trust me, I was living IN a bad attitude...ahhh.
Now that we have that settled. I even went to church this morning permeated by this bad attitude. I barely sang the worshipful songs, I had to force myself to smile so I wouldn't look like I'd been vaccinated with pickle juice (as my preacher likes to say). Yeah, I was really showing the joy of the Lord in my life. *ahem* I was in one of those bless-me-if-you-dare moods.
So the songs were sung, I picked up my Bible, dutifully turned to John 5 as instructed and then my preacher said "are you going to be pitiful or powerful" and followed that with a sermon on self-pity and how it sours your attitude, relationships and everything else. He told us how the Bible warns about letting a root of bitterness get into our hearts. Brian shared that gratitude was the cure and the book of Isaiah instructs us to put on the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.
He mentioned how self pity stuck to you like an oppressive spirit .. it really held you down and that's exactly how I felt this past week. I just couldn't smile and found joy in very little.
I know compared to 80% of the world (or better) I have an outstanding life. I am satisfied with my house, my car, my belongings. And God has blessed me with a great place to live near family and I am not in a war-torn area, I haven't seen anyone starve to death or be dismembered by a land mine. I am blessed. So why have I allowed this spirit of self pity?
Honestly I am bored and feel I have no purpose in life. I read all these great books about serving others and I want to do that, but I'm not sure where. I think I want to interact with people, but my life is such that I do my job at home and except for trips to Wal-mart and Food Lion and the library, I don't experience people that much. I have sweet friends, but they are busy moms. So I am really bored of ME.
But since God made a point of specifically addressing my heart problem of the past few days - and boy, oh, boy, did I have silent laughter at Him a couple of times during church because of that - I know I have a choice to make. I can continue letting this root of bitterness take over and make me miserable ('cause I was miserable wallowing in that self-pity) or I can choose to be grateful, start praising the Lord and "come before His presence with singing" instead of complaining.
Oh, Brian also told us that wallowing in self pity removes the blessing of God from our lives. And I really want God to allow me to serve Him somehow. I don't want to be some grouchy ol' hag. I really want my life to show Christlike love, peace and joy. I want to shine for Jesus, not give Him a bad name because of how I live.
So I felt God talked directly to me this morning. Challenging me. (Yikes!) Maybe there were others who needed it or maybe they had to endure this sermon because of me. Either way, I was thankful -- and actually amused -- that God used Brian to speak to me this way.
Thank the Lord for loving us enough to not leave us to wallow in our stinky self-pity!
Now ... to start that singing!
Speaking of which, I love "I'd Need a Savior" by Among the Thirsty! Check it out! Wow!!