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From The Chaplain's Desk
From The Chaplain's Desk: Self Pity; Feeling Sorry for Yourself

By Charles Dimmick, CT State Grange Chaplain

  September 1, 2021 --

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And  lean  not  on  your  own understanding; In all your ways ac- knowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6 Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God

Psalm 43:5 There are several stories in the Bible  about  people  who  feel  sorry for themselves because of what has happened to them. Sometimes the events are a result of their own actions, sometimes they are the result of God’s actions, and sometimes the events just happened with no apparent cause. But in every case these people feel that the world has been unjust to them, and they are angry about it. One well-known example is the story of Jonah who, when he saw that  God  did  not  destroy  Nineveh after all, because they had repented of their sins, went into a huge sulk about the matter, rather than rejoicing that God had decided to be merciful.

And then there is the prophet Jeremiah who, when the people would not listen to him and reviled him, complained to God: Why is my pain unending and my wound grievous and incurable? Will you be to me like a deceptive brook, like a spring that fails? But God answers him, saying: “If you repent, I will restore you that you may serve me; if you utter worthy, not worthless, words, you will be my spokesman. Let this people turn to you, but you must not turn to them.

Perhaps this is a form of egotism, saying “I’m so important (or so special) that bad things shouldn’t’ happen to me.” (No, you aren’t; you are no more special nor less special in God’s eyes.)

In contrast there are people to whom bad things have happened and they take it all in stride and continue to bless the Lord for all the good things that have happened to them and all the other bad things that did not happen. Remember when God al- lowed Satan to take away all of Job’s possessions, and Job’s response was:

And he said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” Job 1:21

Finally, remember the Overseer’s charge in the third degree “Look for- ward to better and brighter days, in- stead of mourning over the past.”


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