C.S Lewis in his Letters of C.S. Lewis wrote:
The pleasure of pride is like the pleasure of scratching. If there is an itch one does want to scratch; but it is much nicer to have neither the itch nor the scratch. As long as we have the itch of self-regard we shall want the pleasure of self-approval; but the happiest moments are those when we forget our precious selves and have neither but have everything else (God, our fellow humans, animals, the garden and the sky) instead.
The irony of this insatiable itch in the self-sufficient soul becomes even more evident when pride cannot get what it wants and begins to flounder in weakness. This is where pride masquerades as self-pity. John Piper says, “Self-pity is the response of pride to suffering…Self-pity says, “I deserve admiration because I have sacrificed so much.”
“The reason self-pity does not look like pride is that it appears to be needy. But the need arises from a wounded ego and the desire of the self-pity is not really for others to see them as helpless but as heroes. The need self-pity feels does not come from a sense of unworthiness, but from a sense of unrecognized worthiness. It the response of unapplauded pride.”
Do you have anyone in your life like this? I do. At first, you begin to feel guilty that you are not doing enough or that you are guilty of something and yet the whole time the person is telling you that their past was bad and they deserve better and that you need to make the future better for them.
Parents have a way of doing this to their children, particularly those that have been divorced. Children sometimes do this to their parents who have been divorced or who have just not been the “ideal” parents they wished for. This is a horrible family dynamic and only creates chaos in so many ways. It is not the LEGACY that you want for a family. I am here to tell you that you need to stop this behavior and trust in God for your joy and sufficiency.
“Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.” 1Peter 5:6-7,
If we are to achieve a peace and a joy, we must deny self, not exalt self. Faith admits you have a need for help, pride won’t. Faith casts anxieties on God, pride won’t. No one owes you homage and a future of happiness; not a spouse, children or parents. Your true joy and future lie in the Lord. “You don’t know God is all you need, until God is all you have.” And He is sufficient!
For those having to deal with someone like this, have them read this blog. They probably will not admit that they suffer this malady and brush you off. That is the character of someone that makes self-pity a means to victimhood. Pride does not want to admit it has any anxieties or take ownership and responsibility for those anxieties. No one, I mean no one can make you feel that way nor are they responsible for your happiness. Self-denial and crucifixion of the flesh are essential to glorifying God.
The only one who deserves adulation and approval is our precious Jesus. And the only one that can make you feel good about “self” is Jesus… when you take the focus off of yourself and put it squarely on our Lord.
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This is a book about transforming your family legacy – both today and in generations to come. It is for Christian families who want to eliminate estate and capital gains taxes, maintain their current lifestyle, pass on an appropriate inheritance to their heirs, maximize giving to worthy ministries, create healthier family relationships and leave a lasting legacy to impact God’s kingdom.
By Joe Sturniolo
Christian Family Legacy and Wealth Planning
Joe believes that stronger families are the vehicle God uses to bring about significant impact for His Kingdom.