Stopping the Pity Party Mindset

Written by Julie Cosgrove

“So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God, who has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.  And of this gospel I was appointed a herald and an apostle and a teacher. That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet I am not ashamed, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day.” (2 Timothy 1:8-12)

Today, as I began my Bible Study, I did so with a pity party mindset.  I was tired, frustrated, and had simply had enough drama from all of the “messes” going on in my life.  However, as I began to sit down and pray and read the beginning of Second Timothy, my Heavenly Father began to give me a slight attitude adjustment.

At the beginning of the letter, Paul is in prison and is writing to his beloved pupil, Timothy. Other supporters had deserted him and he had suffered a lot for the cause of Christ.  However, Paul instructs Timothy to not be ashamed of the gospel or of its messenger.

I began to meditate on verse 12.  Paul suffered much, yet complained none.  The reason for this is because He knew WHY he was suffering.  He realized that there was a purpose for it.  His purpose was to share the gospel, no matter what.  More importantly, Paul was able to suffer well because He knew the Lord well.  He was not ashamed because he KNEW whom he believed.

The Greek word used here that means “to know” can have two different meanings: the first is to have information about someone or something and the second is to be intimately acquainted with someone or something.  The range of the word is as vast as our own use of the English equivalent.  However, Paul KNEW Jesus.  It is evident by his testimony he gives in verse nine.

In thinking about these verses I have come to realize that how we handle suffering directly correlates with how well we know Jesus.  If we simply know him to be the subject of children’s songs, hard times will seem pressing.  However, if we trust in Christ as the one who has the power of God, who has saved us and has called us to a holy life, not only will we endure suffering, we will conquer it with JOY.  Paul was such a great testimony to Christ because he was not ashamed in his suffering. Rather than blaming God for his perils, He praised Him for His purpose because he knew that in his suffering, others would see Christ.

Paul understood how difficult it was to have fortitude in a harsh world.  That is why he wrote Timothy such strong words of encouragement.  I know I often cower in my own discomforts, but it is my prayer that I may have the MINDSET of Paul so that my actions may gravitate toward gratitude.

God in Heaven, Thank you for the promise of Your comfort and the surety of Your provision. Thank you that my needs are not hidden from You. My pain is not unknown to You.  Whether my cry is one of anguish or frustration You hear it.  Help me to have the mindset of Paul so that like him I can rejoice in You, even when my circumstances are not particularly joyous. In Your name I pray, Amen

Question: How does your view of your circumstances correlate to how intimately you know the Father?

What do you do when it feels like God is silent? 

7 Responses to “Stopping the Pity Party Mindset”

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    Hi John, I admire your honesty and insight into the struggles you have been facing; it is important to recognize that you are concerned about your negative mindset because God’s Holy Spirit is at work in you drawing you to a deeper relationship with Him (John 16:8). That should be Good News because it means He is providing the way for you to be made new. Another thing that we know from what God has revealed through the Bible is that when we put our trust in Jesus to pay the penalty for our sin, He makes us new and changes those sinful patterns into ones that reflect His perfect character, “This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” (2Corinthians 5:17) This is a process that happens over the course of our lives as we surrender more and more into his control, “And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.” (2Corinthians 3:18)

    So have you put your trust in Jesus to pay the penalty for your sin and to make you a new person that reflects His perfect character? If not, have a look at this article that will tell you more about what that means. If you have, then have a look at this article that talks about how to allow the Holy Spirit to lead you into a life that reflects Jesus’ character more and more.

    Let me pray for you: Dear Jesus, I thank You for helping John to recognize the way that his mindset has been destroying him. I pray that You would continue that work so that he is free from its awful hold, and instead reflects Your character. Produce in him the character of love, hope, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, kindness and self-control. Bring others around John who will point him to You more and more, and encourage his relationship with You. Thanks that we can know You hear and answer our prayers. Amen.

    I look forward to hearing back from you John. Let me know if you have any questions or concerns. You can also connect with one of volunteer mentors who will gladly walk with you through the process of allowing Jesus to eradicate your envy. Just go to https://powertochange.com/experience/talk-to-a-mentor/ and fill out the Mentor Request Form there, and one will soon be in touch by email. There is no charge or anything, just a follower of Jesus wanting to help point you to Jesus.

  • John Fielder says:

    Dear Lord ,
    I am entirely at fault . The penny has finally dropped . I pray and beg that You change my Negative Mindset to a Positive mindset by transforming my life for goodness always .
    Forgive me my sins ,
    John Fielder
    Melbourne , Australia
    13th . September 2017 ,
    Local Time :9. 50 p.m.

  • shelley anderson says:

    Thank you Julie for this encouraging devotional. I also want to extend this as my pastor on Sunday talked also about the Mind of Christ and to get so caught up in Him that we can have that mind also in paul as he ecourages us in this area.

  • Beena says:

    “I have come to realize that how we handle suffering directly correlates with how well we know Jesus. ”
    Julie – very powerful, very true!! Thank you for sharing this.

  • Trisha says:

    God bless you Julie as once again your devo moves me to comment! When God is silent, like He’s been for sometime now, i feel worthless, of no value, like the proverbial “hole in a doughnut”. i am void of a heart’s desire, hopes, dreams, goals, present and future plans. i am just existing. i have no quality of life here on earth. i feel isolated, uncared for or about, nothing makes sense and one day bleeds into another and i am another year older. i have struggled with self pity most of my life and have always asked too many “Why” questions when i see others prospering, having satisfying relationships and doing things with their lives. i love Jesus and believe He loves me. Circumstances could always be worse and i do thank Him for all the blessings He’s done for me over the years. i also know i will love HIM even if He chooses not to ever bless me again. i have peace in His silence. His word says He has a plan for my life yet i’m 61 yrs old and if where i am right now is the “plan” wow….i shudder to think this is all He’s planned for me!

  • karen peterson says:

    This was perfect for today, after struggling with lots of family rejection, these verse really touched my heart, I really liked the part “I KNOW whom I believe” no matter my circumstances,I pray I too will complain NONE! for my attitude really does direct my course, thanks for sharing this and being so real!

  • Barbara Alpert says:

    Julie, thank you for such a truthful & motivational devotional today! In the midst of “all things” good, bad, joyful…may we all carry on with a proper MINDSET.

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