If emotions had smells (and I believe they actually do), what would something like, say, self pity smell like? It is said that some animals, having much more sensitive olfactory systems than us, can smell fear. They probably would have no interest in smelling an emotion like self pity though, because what good would that do them?
Actually, what good does self pity do US? I picture it smelling sweet like the kind of sweet that makes you sick to your stomach. Nauseatingly sweet. Self pity seems pretty harmless but it is insidious and cruel and should be cut out without mercy like a cancer. The reason I know that is because I once had a long love affair with that stinky emotion and it was none too happy when we broke up. It lurks around like a stalker, hoping to make some tiny inroad back in. But the answer is NO.
Be very firm with the first whiff of self pity. Refuse to cultivate all the little scenarios about how unfair your life has been or “what if…” or how justified you are to feel sorry for yourself. Recognize that self pity is SIN. That realization is what motivated me to reject it in my life and seek God’s help and grace to remove it completely. When you are filled with self pity, who is at the center of your world? You are! Not God who should be. What is the fruit of self pity? Lack of trust in God, despondency, discouragement, the victim syndrome, anger, resentment, wasting of time, and on and on. I can’t think of one good thing that comes out of self pity.
No matter how deep its tentacles in your life you can be completely free of self pity. Refuse to let its foul aroma stink up your life anymore. Then you can become the aroma of Christ and spread everywhere “the fragrance of the knowledge of him.” (2 Corinthians 2:14) Ahhh. That’s better. A smell worth putting on every day!
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