Self-pity has no kinship with humility.
Self-pity is weakness, not meekness.
Self-pity steals attention from God. Self-pity reveals a focus on self which cannot co-exist with a focus on Christ. Thus, self-pity leaves Jesus out of the picture. If the previous be true, self-pity is sin.
Just as some folks use anger as a control mechanism, so others use self-pity to exercise control. If I project discouragement and depression with my self-pity, not many will dare cross me or correct me for fear of deepening my dejection. Handy, eh?
Handy, yes. And sinful.
In Trusting Our Sovereign God, I wrote:
The proper response to our own self-pity is repentance.
To feel sorry for myself is essentially (and often, unwittingly) to question the love and justice of the Sovereign One. Self-pity ultimately is no different from challenging the wisdom and foresight of the Omniscient One. So who am I — who are you — to dare such a thing?!
“Foolish was I, and ignorant” (Psalm 73:22). Indeed!
“Now mine eye seeth thee. Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes” (Job 42:5,6). If you have self-pity, Mark, repent of it.
And here’s an excerpt from Choose: Self-Pity or Thanksgiving:
Strangely enough, though, I don’t remember considering that a thankful spirit sweeps away a “negatively self-focused” spirit. Oh, sure, I’ve known (and even taught!) that gratefulness can lift us out of depression and discouragement. But, somehow, I must have missed what being thankful can do to kill being self-pitying.
Not to be self-absorbed or over-the-top self-promoting, but please indulge one more self-quote, this one from Self-Resistance
Self-denial. It’s an essential, defining part of being a Christian. Without it, we can’t.
“Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me” (Matthew 16:24).
The heart that’s panting after God has no taste for self-pity.