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“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving” (Colossians 3:23-25, NIV).
“Now as the service is ending,” said our pastor, “I want you to go to others in the congregation who have been a blessing to you and tell them how much you appreciate them!”
As I sat in the organ loft playing softly, I watched the people mingle, hugging, shaking hands, and smiling. Some went up to our pianist, David, but no one came to me. I began feeling sorry for myself. “They don’t appreciate me or all I have done for them!” I thought. “I’ve sent them cards when they were ill or grieving. I’ve prayed for and with them. I’ve faithfully played the organ. Nobody loves me!” Yes, I was having a real pity party!
One man did come up and express his appreciation. But I still felt hurt as I walked out of church that night. As I started driving home, I was filled with wrong thoughts–”No more will I waste my time and postage to send those comforting, sympathetic cards! No more will I go around before church, smiling, greeting, and shaking hands!”
Oooh, I thought, I’m thinking bitter thoughts — and I’m miserable! If I allow this kind of thinking to continue, I’ll no longer have my peace and joy, or enjoy going to my church! But I felt so put out; I couldn’t even seem to hold it up to the Lord as I usually did with such nonsense. So I simply cried, “Help, Lord! I’m hurting!”
Right away He started setting me straight.
“Now, Muriel,” He seemed to say, “Who are you thinking about right now?”
“Myself,” I answered.
“And whom have you been serving?”
“You, Lord,” I replied.
“Then why do you need the praise of men?” He had me there. “You know those people love and appreciate you. They didn’t need to tell you that tonight. So, now put that all aside. I want to bring something else to your attention.”
Now maybe this wasn’t exactly the conversation we had; but I knew the Lord was laying this on me. And I suddenly remembered something: those two others in key positions in our church had been feeling sorry for themselves just that morning! When I had talked to them individually, they had both seemed to feel unappreciated. Now it seemed as if the Lord were asking, “What does this suggest to you?”
I realized that those of us in key positions in our church were under satanic attack. This completely snapped me out of the self-pity I had wallowed in. As I came out, I once again felt Christ’s peace and joy in my heart.
I’ve got to share this with those other two, I thought. But how? I don’t want to offend them. Then I realized that the best way would be for me to tell them the truth about myself and my self-pity. Then I could share how I believed the Lord had revealed to me that we were under satanic attack.
I knew it wouldn’t show me in the best light; but I did it the following Wednesday night, privately to each man. Both men admitted that they too had been feeling down and unappreciated, and that Satan probably was trying to make them discontented and rob them of peace. And that’s how the Lord helped three of us snap out of our “pity parties”!
Father, remind me that everything I do is for You. It’s not about me; it’s not even about the people I am serving. Remind me of just how much You love me. I know that Your love is all the validation I will ever need. Amen.
Questions: How do you understand the term “having a pity party”? What does feeling sorry for yourself actually indicate about your life? How can change our attitude to that of praising the Lord?
About the Author Muriel Larson