A Remedy for Self-pity

Growing with God: A daily devotional with Tonia Slimm.

Exodus 2:16-17 (NIV)
Now a priest of Midian had seven daughters, and they came to draw water and fill the troughs to water their father’s flock. Some shepherds came along and drove them away, but Moses got up and came to their rescue and watered their flock.

Exodus 2:16-17 (MSG)
The priest of Midian had seven daughters. They came and drew water, filling the troughs and watering their father’s sheep. When some shepherds came and chased the girls off, Moses came to their rescue and helped them water their sheep.
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“Now the priest of Midian had seven daughters; and they came and drew water [from the well where Moses was resting] and filled the troughs to water their father’s flock. Then shepherds came and drove them away, but Moses stood up and helped them and watered their flock.” -AMPLIFIED

Yesterday we left Moses sitting on the edge of a well in Midian. He had run for his very life from Egypt to this place; which was beyond the jurisdiction of Pharaoh’s mighty hand. Once he had arrived the adrenaline, fear and anxiety that had driven him to flee lifted and he was left with a deep feeling of depression and sadness. Here he was in Midian; a place where he knew no one and he knew nothing about. So…he sat by a well.

God had His reasons for bringing Moses to this place; we will see. In fact, it was necessary for Moses to go to “the far side of the desert”; it was all going to be part of his formative training. Yes, at 40 years old he was still in training. He had spent 40 years in Egypt’s royal courts training under the best teachers in Egypt and having the best of everything. Now he is about to experience the dry and desolate lands of Midian, having Jethro and God, Himself, as his teachers.

While sitting on that well, overcome by depression and home-sickness, we find that an opportunity for helping someone else presents itself to him. The seven daughters of the local priest have come to water their father’s sheep, but are faced with a problem; the other local shepherds drive them away. Moses sees what is happening and decides to step up and help them out. He came to their aid and was their hero on this day.

Instead of wallowing in self-pity; Moses put aside his problems and helped someone else with theirs. There is an important lesson to learn here: Self-pity is a dead-end street which will take you nowhere, get you nothing and will drive a wedge between yourself, others and also God. Do not allow yourself to fall into it.

The impulse to feel sorry for yourself is very easy to fall into, but it is not what God wants from His children. Instead, the Apostle Paul encourages us with these words, “Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live.” -1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (MSG)

As a child many of us were taught the acronym for JOY:
J-Jesus
O-Others
Y-You
Always put Jesus first, then others and finally yourself last. This will give you joy. Be careful though that you do not put others first to the detriment of your own health; spiritually, physically or mentally. There is a healthy balance for the sake of us all.

“As Christians we should never feel sorry for ourselves. The moment we do so, we lose our energy, we lose the will to fight and the will to live, and are paralyzed.” -D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

My Prayer:
Lord, help me not to fall into the Slough of Despondence or the lies of self-pity. I know that self-pity is a trick of my Enemy and it is not glorifying to you. Instead, help me to give thanks to you in all things. Help me to look around and see how I can lend a helping hand to others. Help me to give every hurt, need and care to you; for you love me and care more than anyone else. I will rejoice and be glad in You!

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