Woe Is Me

Do you ever slip into that self-focused state where all you can think about is how the entire world is out to get you? Sometimes it's true, though, right? Well, sometimes it may FEEL that way. The reality is that it is in those times that we lose perspective.


You start singing the old song "Nobody likes me, everybody hates me, guess I'll go eat worms." You have a wonderful pity party where the only invitation sent is to yourself. And really who else would WANT to come to that party? You whine. You complain. You let everyone around you know how terrible your life is, and in time you realize no one is listening.


That's the problem with self-pity. It is pity for myself. My eyes and attention turn inward, and there is no room for anything or anyone else. As a result I implode into isolation. This can be extremely destructive as I lose touch with reality. And what is reality?


Psalm 13 gives us the answer. David is having a "woe is me" moment. "How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever?" (Psalm 13:1) Pretty dark place. David has come to the point where he is questioning not if God WILL forget him but for how long. David is convinced God is hiding his face and allowing David's enemies to triumph. In the first 2 verses David uses the words "me", "I", or "my" SEVEN times. This is the "woe is me" problem- my focus is all on me.


But as David "casts his cares" on the Lord who sees and cares, his focus changes. Listen to the contrast of the last two verses from the first two.


"But I trust in your unfailing love;

my heart rejoices in your salvation.

I will sing the Lord's praise,

for he has been good to me."

--Psalm 13:5-6


David's focus and tone take a one eighty. He reminds himself of God's unfailing love which began with his own salvation. And as his focus changes to the goodness of his Lord and Savior, David's whining for himself becomes singing praises to the Lord.


Where is your focus today? Is it on yourself and the pity you "deserve"? If so, take David's words to heart. In Psalm 51 David says, "Restore to me the joy of your salvation." Change that self-pity focus to the blessing of salvation and all that God has done for you. May we remember and rejoice like David singing (or saying) "He has been good to me."


Doug

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Northwestern United Methodist Church

232 4th Ave. 

Mellette, SD 57461

605.887.3148

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