The Danger of Self-Pity

Storms  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Your attitude in a storm often determines your outcome. One of the worst attitudes to have in a storm is self-pity. Satan uses this attitude to exploit the people of God. Learn how to be victorious in this area and be blessed.

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6853 Vine Clings In Fiercest Storm

Biblical Background

The vine clings to the oak during the fiercest of storms. Although the violence of nature may uproot the oak, twining tendrils still cling to it. If the vine is on the side of the tree opposite the wind, the great oak is its protection: if it is on the exposed side, the tempest only presses it closer to the trunk.
In some of the storms of life, God intervenes and shelters us; while in others He allows us to be exposed, so that we will be pressed more closely to Him.
—B. M. Launderville
Tan, P. L. (1996). Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations: Signs of the Times (p. 1511). Garland, TX: Bible Communications, Inc.
Psalm 10:1–10 NIV
1 Why, Lord, do you stand far off? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble? 2 In his arrogance the wicked man hunts down the weak, who are caught in the schemes he devises. 3 He boasts about the cravings of his heart; he blesses the greedy and reviles the Lord. 4 In his pride the wicked man does not seek him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God. 5 His ways are always prosperous; your laws are rejected by him; he sneers at all his enemies. 6 He says to himself, “Nothing will ever shake me.” He swears, “No one will ever do me harm.” 7 His mouth is full of lies and threats; trouble and evil are under his tongue. 8 He lies in wait near the villages; from ambush he murders the innocent. His eyes watch in secret for his victims; 9 like a lion in cover he lies in wait. He lies in wait to catch the helpless; he catches the helpless and drags them off in his net. 10 His victims are crushed, they collapse; they fall under his strength.
Psalm 10:1 NIV
Why, Lord, do you stand far off? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?
Psalm 10:1
Psalm 10:1-10

Biblical Background


People who experienced self-pity

The psalmist asks the Lord why he allows the wicked to continue oppressing the poor and helpless. He calls upon the Lord to punish the wicked.
I. The Arrogance and Contempt of the Godless (10:2–11)
A. Their vertical actions (10:3–4, 11): The psalmist describes how the wicked regard the Lord.
1. They curse the Lord (10:3) .
2. They ignore the Lord (10:4, 11).
B. Their horizontal actions (10:2, 5–10): The psalmist describes how the wicked regard others.
1. They oppress the poor (10:2) .
2. They scorn their enemies (10:5) .
3. They boast that they cannot be stopped (10:6) .
4. They curse, threaten, and lie (10:7) .
5. They ambush and murder the innocent (10:8–10).
II. The Anguish and Cry of the Godly (10:1, 12–18)
A. Their response (10:1, 13): The psalmist asks why the wicked are allowed to get away with their deeds.
B. Their request (10:12, 15–18)
1. Punish the wicked (10:12) .
2. Break their arms (10:15–16): The psalmist wants the Lord to render the wicked incapable of committing their deeds.
3. Bring justice to the oppressed (10:17–18).
Willmington, H. L. (1999). The Outline Bible (). Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.

Self-Pity - “a self-indulgent dwelling on one's own sorrows or misfortunes”

People who experienced self-pity

“a self-indulgent dwelling on one's own sorrows or misfortunes”

People who experienced self-pity

The Israelites

Exodus 16:3 NIV
The Israelites said to them, “If only we had died by the Lord’s hand in Egypt! There we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted, but you have brought us out into this desert to starve this entire assembly to death.”


Job 10:1 NIV
“I loathe my very life; therefore I will give free rein to my complaint and speak out in the bitterness of my soul.
Job 10:1


Numbers 11:11–15 NIV
11 He asked the Lord, “Why have you brought this trouble on your servant? What have I done to displease you that you put the burden of all these people on me? 12 Did I conceive all these people? Did I give them birth? Why do you tell me to carry them in my arms, as a nurse carries an infant, to the land you promised on oath to their ancestors? 13 Where can I get meat for all these people? They keep wailing to me, ‘Give us meat to eat!’ 14 I cannot carry all these people by myself; the burden is too heavy for me. 15 If this is how you are going to treat me, please go ahead and kill me—if I have found favor in your eyes—and do not let me face my own ruin.”
Numbers 11:11-15


1 Kings 19:4 NIV
while he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness. He came to a broom bush, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, Lord,” he said. “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.”


Jer 15
Jeremiah 15:10 NIV
Alas, my mother, that you gave me birth, a man with whom the whole land strives and contends! I have neither lent nor borrowed, yet everyone curses me.


Jonah 4:1–5 NIV
1 But to Jonah this seemed very wrong, and he became angry. 2 He prayed to the Lord, “Isn’t this what I said, Lord, when I was still at home? That is what I tried to forestall by fleeing to Tarshish. I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity. 3 Now, Lord, take away my life, for it is better for me to die than to live.” 4 But the Lord replied, “Is it right for you to be angry?” 5 Jonah had gone out and sat down at a place east of the city. There he made himself a shelter, sat in its shade and waited to see what would happen to the city.
Jonah 4:1-5

Consequences of self-pity

An unrealistic view of the situation

An exaggerated view of the situation


Often lengthens the duration of the trial

Damages your testimony

God is not glorified

Keys to overcoming self-pity

Consider God’s Word

Consider God’s Resume

Submit to God’s Will

Choose to be Positive

Praise God in Advance


Psalm 43:5
Psalm 43:5 NIV
5 Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.
Choose today to not live in Self-Pity
Be excited because what’s coming is better than what’s bee
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