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Pastor's Corner

Pastor's Corner

5/25/17

Woe Is Me: Ministering to Self-Pity

Sunday we took another step in learning to handle our suffering by going vertical through lamentation. Lamentation is an act of faith where we take our suffering, our disappointments, and our questions to the throne of God's grace. Lamenting doesn't result in changed circumstances, but it does change our perspective as we live in the presence of God. Through lament, God ministers to us and draws us close so that we can worship him in the midst of our losses.

This Sunday we're going to consider how to help those caught up in the distortion of self-pity. In Galatians 6:1-5, the Apostle Paul tells us that we have a responsibility to those caught in sin, even the sin of self-pity. Self-pity is not the fruit of God's Spirit; it's a work of the flesh, the fruit of pride. So, the admonition in the text applies well.

The goal is to restore the one lost in self-pity to walking in the Spirit. In the text Paul has compared walking in the flesh with keeping in step with the Spirit. When someone lives in the distortion of pride they bear the fruit of self-pity. It's the responsibility of the body of Christ to listen and lead them to the cross of Christ to hear the gospel. In this way we connect them to the grace available from God. Restoring others is dangerous soul work.

As we seek to help, we face several temptations: saying and doing nothing; being critical of their weakness; taking up their offense; or trying to fix their situation and assume their burden. Often we feel like being a good friend is finding a way to pick up the load and help them carry it, but Paul knows that only God can give us what we need. So, we seek to restore them, to get them back on track, and we stay with them as they struggle to connect to God's grace.

So come Sunday, and let's learn together how to lead each other to Christ.

~Pastor Tim