4/25/2020 2:09:00 PM Even Preachers Have Pity Parties
Dr. Vince Hefner, Pastor First Baptist Church, Cherryville, NC
Have you ever felt sorry for yourself? If we are honest, and there is no reason not to be, we all have felt that at some point in our lives something or someone has wronged us and all we can do is feel sorry for ourselves. Preachers are not exempt from this mythical place that is called a “Pity Party.” I have been to all kinds of parties in my life, including birthday parties, retirement parties, anniversary parties, surprise parties, etc… and I have enjoyed all of them. Most of the time when you get an invitation to a party, you are told what time is starts and ends, the place the party is held, and whether or not to bring a gift. This is good information to know, because it would be terrible to show up for a party on the wrong date or time, or to bring a pack or diapers to a retirement party or a teething ring and bib to a 50th wedding anniversary.
The aforementioned “Pity Party” is what I want to spend a few moments on today. This party has no formal invitations because it can be thrown at any given time in your honor by yourself! This party has no gifts to be brought, because a pity party is all about the things you don’t have in your life. This party has no cake to eat or punch to drink, unless you want to consider pity as punch and the feeling of worthlessness as cake (icing optional!). This party has no ending time because you can spend the rest of your life in this place if you want to! Does this sound like a party you would want to attend? Have you ever thrown a party like this for yourself?
Ecclesiastes 1:1-3 says, “These are the words of the Teacher (Preacher), King David’s son, who ruled in Jerusalem. ‘Everything is meaningless,’ says the Teacher (Preacher), ‘completely meaningless.’ What do people get for all their hard work under the sun?” Talk about a pity party! Solomon had come to the point in his life where nothing brought him pleasure and life was just not worth living. Can you imagine a man who had everything he wanted but found out that the possessions he had gained, the buildings he had designed and built, the gardens he had planted, and the people who lived just to bring him pleasure did not bring him joy. If Solomon had all these things and could find no joy to life, how much of a chance do we have to stay out of a pity party?
Solomon made one major mistake as he looked at his life that we need to avoid if we want to stay out of the continual cycle of pity parties. Here is his mistake: he viewed life as being “under the sun,” instead of looking at life from “over the sun.” What is the difference? Everything. Solomon was looking at life from his perspective, and not the perspective of God. As humans we can live life by what we see and feel, or we can live life by what be believe about Jesus Christ working in our lives and loving us. We need to remind ourselves that Jesus always wants what is best for us, regardless of what we see going on in our lives or how we want to react when bad things happen!
The next time you want to invite yourself to a pity party, don’t go! If you do decide to visit, don’t partake in the finger foods of pity and the feelings of worthlessness. Those foods will taste bad while you are eating them, and will make you feel worse when you have them in your stomach! Finally, if you do find yourself at a pity party, don’t stay! Make up some excuse why you need to be somewhere else and you are already late! As you walk away from the pity party, consider all the great things God has put in your life and eventually you will find no place for pity to hang around in your heart! Remember, don’t give in to sin. Think about it!