How self-pity will destroy our chances to make a difference

No one likes people who wallow in self-pity.

Amiright? It's cringe-worthy. It makes you want to slap them in the face with a fish and tell them to, "get over yourself, man!"

But in the midst of our disgust of self-pity, we warmly embrace a Trojan Horse called "complaining." That's really all it is, right? A form of self-pitty? When we complain, we're saying to the world, "I deserve better than this." Using whatever form of self-righteous methodology we've adopted, we tell ourselves that whatever bad thing is happening to us right now can happen to anyone else except us. We're the exception. We're worth more than this crap.

Usually it's not that blunt or noticeable. We aren't seriously thinking to ourselves that we're the supreme ruler of the universe and these people who are inconveniencing us are mere peasants that live to serve us.

If we're being completely honest - I'm including myself here - we often turn to self-pity because it feels good. It's nice to feel like we deserve better, so we tell ourselves that. However, complaining is rooted in the same selfish part of our being that self-pity is rooted in. The part that expects better for our life because we deserve it. This little piece of our fleshly character runs contrary to the image that Christ has set up for us in Philippians 2:3-8.

3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
— Philippians 2:3-8

Walking in humility means we're not above the inconveniences that life throws at us. It means we take life as it comes. We adapt, we hurdle, we overcome. But we don't complain or whine.

Now don't get me wrong - we can be disappointed. No one goes through life and isn't let down by things. But we don't let it get to our heads and dictate our attitude. We can say, "man, getting in that wreck sucks. I guess I need to start figuring out how insurance works." We're not sitting on our couch, car-less and complaining about it. We're being proactive about moving on because whether we like it or not, life isn't slowing down for us.

To complain is to not take responsibility for our life.

You either get bitter or you get better. It’s that simple. You either take what has been dealt to you and allow it to make you a better person, or you allow it to tear you down. The choice does not belong to fate, it belongs to you.
— Josh Shipp

Those who succeed in life and make an impact aren't the complainers. They're the doers. Take life in stride and plow through obstacles with a smile on your face and you'll find opportunity and responsibility are given to you. The next time you feel like complaining, take a moment to think about what you're thankful for. Gratitude and self-pity cannot co-exist.

Part of living simply is simplifying our mind and our spirit. If we harbor ill-will or have a propensity for complaining, we're building up a lot of emotional and mental clutter in our lives. Learning to resist this part of our flesh isn't easy, but it's worth it.