Our theme for this month: “You Gotta Keep Dancing”
Our Bible verse for today: “The warden did not bother with anything under Joseph’s authority, because the Lord was with him, and the Lord made everything that he did successful.” Genesis 39:22-23 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “Don’t give-in to self-pity”
One of my heroes is General Colin Powell. He was a four-star Army General. He rose to the highest ranks of both military and civilian leadership in our nation serving in various capacities in the administrations of four U.S. Presidents, including as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and as Secretary of State.
General Powell had an extensive set of principles he developed which guided his own life, and which he looked for in others whom he was considering for various leadership positions. He called them “Powell’s Principles”. He had one regarding self-pity. It reads, “I am capable of self-pity, but not for long.” That principle is an acknowledgement of the truth that self-pity is a natural human emotion and we are all susceptible to it. The question is not whether or not we will sometimes feel sorry for ourselves; the question is how long will we allow ourselves to wallow in self-pity? The person who wallows in self-pity will live a defeated life. The person who shrugs it off and just keeps going will excel regardless of the unfortunate circumstances they are faced with.
That was the case with Joseph in the book of Genesis. Hated by his brothers; sold into slavery in Egypt; falsely accused of sexual assault and thrown into prison for years; Joseph had plenty of reasons to feel sorry for himself. But even though the Bible used fifteen entire chapters to tell Joseph’s story, there isn’t even a hint of self-pity in it. Not once. I believe that was a big part of the success Joseph experienced and why God was able to bless him so much. Joseph refused to give-in to self-pity. That doesn’t mean he never experienced even a twinge of it. It just means he refused to live there. He refused to wallow in it.
I want to share with you a few inspiring statements about resisting self-pity from Tim Hansel’s book “You Gotta Keep Dancin”:
“The choice for all of us is not if we will accept pain, but how.” “If you can’t change your circumstances, change the way you respond to them.” “What a test of character adversity is. It can either destroy or build up, depending on our chosen response.”
I encourage you to resist the temptation to wallow in self-pity. Shake it off and deal with your circumstances in a positive way that blesses others and honors God.