I'm a lousy mother, I thought one morning after a heated discussion with my 16-year-old daughter over a certain video's appropriateness. By lunchtime, I'd replayed our conflict a dozen times. By mid-afternoon, my pity party was full blown: My kids deserve better. Nobody loves me. Everybody hates me. I'm gonna run away.
Most of us throw a pity party at least once in our lifetime. Sometimes it begins when a relationship crumbles. Sometimes it starts when we compare our assets, appearance, or abilities to others' and feel inadequate or less fortunate.
Before long, joy dissipates like helium from a balloon. Ministry becomes a chore; Bible reading and prayer, a drudgery. Personal relationships suffer. Is this how God wants his daughters to live? Not a chance.
Instead, his plans for us include joy and peace. I'm not talking about giddy giggles when things go well; I mean genuine joy that bubbles from the soul and crashes pity parties before they get rolling.
The Old Testament contains a story about a man who had every reason to throw a pity party, but he refused to do so. His account proves it's possible to cancel the party before it begins.
The Ultimate Party Pooper
Meet Jobthe greatest pity-party pooper of all time. Scripture describes him as blameless and upright. He feared God, shunned evil, and bore a reputation as the greatest man among all the people of the East (Job 1:1, 3). But one day, circumstances souredhe lost oxen, donkeys, sheep, servants, camels, and worst of all, his ten children.1