The Dangers of a Pity Party

Over the weekend, I was reading the blog of a woman from my town whose son is nearly 6 months old, and has spent every single day of his precious life in the NICU.  You see, he was born with CDH.  The post I was reading came after a host of setbacks.  He’d been improving and they were trying out home vents and he was making strides (The picture above is from that time period, when he was improving), and then he reherniated.  If that wasn’t setback enough, he’d been on a paralytic for 3 weeks during that time and the doctors were planning to attempt another repair.  Except that now he had pneumonia and they wouldn’t be able to do that.  In her post, his mother said this,

“I feel like I’ve been allowing myself too many pity parties again and I don’t like it.”

My first thought was, if anyone deserves a pity party, it’s you. We were in the NICU with Logan for 1 week.  It felt like a year and was the longest, toughest week of my life to date.  Hannah has watched her little boy in the NICU for nearly 6 months.  My flesh cried out that she deserves a pity party.  We always hear that it’s okay to feel sorry for yourself sometimes.  It’s okay to have that pity party. Maybe it’s because of the word “party” in there, but we treat it like something that must be good for us.

It’s not.  A pity party is dangerous, and here’s why:

  1. The joy of the Lord is my strength.  Nehemiah knew what he was talking about.  God gives us joy, and that joy gives us strength.  Strength to face the life God has called us to, and strength to face the trials along the way.  A pity party is the opposite of joy, and it robs me of my strength in Christ.  Satan wants to steal your joy, and having a pity party lets him.
  2. God is in the Victory.  Ephesians tells us that God is able to do “immeasurably more” than we could ever even think to ask of Him!  That’s pretty awesome!  God is so much bigger than our problems, and even bigger than we could ever comprehend.  He has given us everything we need to live in victory.  Satan wants to kill your victory and replace it with defeat instead.  Don’t let him.  Living in defeat will drain your energy and drain your faith.
  3. We know how this story ends.  I talked about this a few times before, particularly in my Philippians study.  But, as Christians, we know how this story of life ends.  It ends with followers of Christ receiving our eternal reward.  We need to keep that perspective.  Satan wants to destroy it.  He wants to get us so focused on the trials, so focused on the sadness of this life that we lose our hope and peace.

“The thief comes only to steal, kill, and destroy.  I have come that they may have life, and have it more abundantly.”  -John 10:10

When we fall into the place of self-pity, we are giving Satan power over us and choosing to live in defeat.  Jesus wants to give us abundant life that rises above that defeat.  The next time you are facing problems and trials, and tragedies in life that seem insurmountable, pray this prayer over yourself, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”  (Romans 15:13)  Tell Satan that you refuse to let him steal your joy, your hope, your faith, or your peace of mind!

(In the meantime, the doctors have decided to attempt the repair surgery for Baby Clay TODAY.  Please, take a minute to pray for this baby and his parents, and please take a minute to visit her blog and leave a word of encouragement)

(Linking up with:  {titus 2}sday, Domestically Divine, On your Heart,)



  1. says

    I will definitely pray for Clay! And love the insights you’ve drawn out for us regarding pity parties–unfortunately, one of my favorite time wasters! Love your words here, Crystal! Keep it up!

    • Crystal says

      Thanks! I was really inspired by her words and have been praying hard for Baby Clay, as I know many others are doing :)

  2. says

    My mom always said that if I was going to think about feeling sorry for myself, all I had to do was take a look around, and there would be someone who was much worse off than I. She was so right.

    And you are right with the admonition that pity parties are dangerous, regardless of our circumstances. Rather than giving them the stamp of approval for ourselves, our friends and families, we need to instead stand with our loved ones for an abundant, thankful life.

    Thanks so much for the call for prayer for Clay, and this perspective.
    Thanks, too, for sharing at NOBH!

  3. says

    Oh what an encouraging and inspiring post! Thank you so much for the timely and eloquent reminder. Every time I am tempted to sink into the pity party doldrums, I have to tell myself that someone always has it worse than I do and no matter what happens faith is the victory that overcomes the world. And that’s really what we’re doing – facing the world and it’s brokenness. I am so glad I know that Christ has overcome the world. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and for linking up with NOBH. Smiles –

    • Crystal says

      Yes, it’s true that someone always has it worse. In fact, most of us live fairly spoiled lives. And, yes, if we keep perspective that Christ has overcome the world, that makes it all easier to face :) Thanks for your kind words!

  4. Chantel Dillard says

    I almost fell in the pity party today. I realized I need to leanon his sufficient grace, rather thanallow myself to be swallowed by emotion.

  5. says

    I almost fell in the pity party today. I realized I need to lean on his sufficient grace, rather than allow myself to be swallowed by emotion.

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