Pity: Party or Potty?

pity party or potty

You know how people pray for the Lord to “open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it”?

Yeah, well, THAT has NOT been the prayer du jour for this woman.

In fact, quite the opposite: the windows were opened, but, it hasn’t been blessings falling from the sky. And, I’ve had no problem letting my Heavenly Father know that I was quite the verklemped daughter on more than one or eight occasions.

Do you know what He told me?

“Christine, you’ve got issues.”

“WHAT? You’ve got to be kidding!” I sputtered, “I’ve got issues? Me? Issues? Who DOESN’T have issues?!”

“Well, it’s time for you to deal with yours.”


That endearing conversation heralded in two months of my mother, money, school, backslidden children, unsaved husband, ex-husband, ex-wife, stepkids, a computer virus that stumped the Geek Squad and a car that went “thump” in the night.

Biggie sizes it with a side of sleep deprivation and you’ve got my life in a bag!

Last week, I’d gotten to the end of my rope. Instead of tying a knot, I wanted to tie a noose in it and fling it over a branch. I was exhausted. I asked the Lord, “What can I do? What do I need to do to get through this?”

No answer.

I went to church last Sunday, took my boo-boo self to my regular boo-boo spot and determined in my boo-boo spirit to get an answer from the Lord. The scripture reading that morning was in 1 Peter chapter three.

“Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing.” 1 Peter 3:8-9

Well, I thought, I got ONE thing right: I am pretty pitiful.

“Ok, Lord. I’ll pull myself up by the bootstraps,” I groaned, “and quit having a pity party.”

“No, Christine. Pity parties are fine. It’s the pity-potty mentality you need to get rid of.”


To feel pity or compassion for; to have sympathy with; to compassionate; to commiserate; to have tender feelings toward another, awakened to a knowledge of suffering.
A feeling for the sufferings or distresses of another or others; sympathy with the grief or misery of another; compassion; fellow-feeling; commiseration.
The humane quality of understanding the suffering of others and wanting to do something about it.


Of or for a social gathering.
Being shared by or pertaining to two or more persons or things.
A group gathered for a special purpose or task.

I realized that my type pity was a polar opposite to the pity the Lord calls us to have. Mine is focused on me, while the Lord’s pity is focused on others. And, my pity parties have nothing to do with a social gathering. It’s just me and me making everyone around me miserable.

Having “self” pity is the same as pride, envy, and covetousness! When I’m in the throws of a full-blown pity-extravaganza, my thoughts typically run along this vein:

“I can’t believe this is happening to me!” (pride)

“They’re lives are perfect. They NEVER experience…” (envy)

“Well, if I had … like they do…” (covetous)

Ouch, huh? It gets better:


Of little importance; trivial.

Somewhat silly or crazy; addlebrained.

Slightly insane; eccentric, paltry; trifling; petty.

Did the Lord just call my present state of affairs trivial?!

Did He call me silly and my behavior a wee bit addlebrained?!

Oh, yes. He did. And with good reason!

A real, godly pity party is a wonderful state of surrendering to the Lord! It is rejoicing in praise and worship. It is surrounding yourself with people you love and loving the people who surround you. A pity party exalts Jesus and proves your trust in His ability to make everything all right!

“And the multitude rose up together against them: and the magistrates rent off their clothes, and commanded to beat them. And when they had laid many stripes upon them, they cast them into prison, charging the jailor to keep them safely: Who, having received such a charge, thrust them into the inner prison, and made their feet fast in the stocks. And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them…”

(Pity Parties should ROCK your house and MOVE the world!)

“…And suddenly there was a great earthquake so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and everyone’s bands were loosed.” Acts 16:22-26

On the other hand, if you embrace the pity potty mentality, you’ll be left alone, lonely and slightly insane.

You choose: Party or Potty?



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