A letter that arrived at my desk had traveled many miles to deliver its sad story. The sender had endured severe trials and seemed near despair. Were her troubles real? Yes, but feeding her self pity would only intensify her misery and make her less able to cope with life. She needed a faith lift: something to turn her mind away from her difficulties, allowing her to focus on God’s love and start reaching out to meet the needs of others going through tough times..
So self-pity must be overcome or the clouds of gloom that encompass so many going through trials will increase and plunge them into even darker despair. But how can we rid ourselves of this negative attitude that moves in on us so easily when things go wrong or cherished dreams die.
We can remember we’re not the first to face tough times. Others have made their way through valleys like we find ourselves in today. And some of these troubled ones have risen out of despair and moved on to great accomplishments, sometimes even seeing their past problems as keys to their future success.
When Christian Powell asked me to write a book about his life, I had no idea of the positive effect this would have on me. I knew he was a successful attorney and the chairman of the board of a widely known Christian organization but I knew nothing of his painful past.
At the age of seven, Christian was diagnosed with Tuberculosis and spent two years in a sanitarium being treated for it. After recovering, Christian worked hard to catch up in school and when in his teens was heavily involved in athletics but was then stricken by Polio and paralyzed from his waist down.
Early in life, Christian had decided to become an attorney but now there seemed little hope that he could catch up or go to college. Self pity must have beckoned but he rejected it. Keeping his eye on his goal, Christian kept building up his upper body, studying hard and 10 years later received his law degree. By this time, he was married, the father of 4 and successful as an accountant.
A few years after receiving his law degree, Christian was the managing partner in a law firm and active politically, but something still seemed to be missing from his life. That changed when at the invitation of friends to attend their church, he trusted their Lord as his own; launching him on a lifelong effort to help his family and others.
And here you are feeling sorry for yourself! Trade your self pity for faith and see what good things start happening in your life.