The oven timer beeps incessantly, reminding me that supper is ready. The baby cries from her high chair because she dropped her sippy cup, yet again. Two sisters are arguing at the kitchen table over who gets to sit by Daddy at supper. Another sister is nowhere to be found, which more than likely means she is playing in the toilet or putting lotion all over her face and hair. I glance at the clock, wondering when he will walk through the door. “Shouldn’t he be home by now? Doesn’t he know how difficult this time of day is for me?” 

To my relief, the door swings open and all four girls squeal with excitement that Daddy is finally home. They rush to his arms and are whisked up quickly for kisses and hugs. Instead of the oldest Hahn girl – cough, cough, me – rushing toward my husband to welcome him home, I immediately feel my body close up and my attitude shift. Self pity has begun to set in. 

As we set the table and fetch everyone’s drinks and try to pray and convince the littles that green beans are delicious, the overstimulation from earlier and the exhaustion from the day continue to build in my heart. I begin to replay every tiny detail of the day, the arguments I had to work through, the crying, the whining, the constant reminders to say thank you and to be kind. The discipline and the correction and the repeating myself roll through my mind and I begin to wonder, “Does he even realize what I do every day? Doesn’t he know how difficult my job is?” 

Now, mind you, none of these thoughts have left my mouth. They’re just festering within, and my husband is smiling and laughing and enjoying his family. All the while, I am throwing myself a pity party over the job I actually wanted to have in the first place.

Until recently, this type of situation would be common in our home. I would watch my husband leave for the day and know he was going to meet with adults (adults!), drive alone in the car (alone!), sit in his quiet office (quiet!), and drink unending amounts of coffee (okay, I do this too), but instead of closing the door behind him and cheerfully and sacrificially go about my work within the home and with the children, I would keep a running list of all that I had to do or all that my children “inflicted” upon me. My job was so much harder. I was serving so much more. Didn’t he notice? 

I stumbled across a podcast from one of my favorite Bible teachers, Elisabeth Elliot, entitled Self Pity, and when I tell you it changed my life, I mean it. In this podcast, she said, “Self pity is satanic.”

This one line in this podcast episode began to come to mind when my husband walked through the door in the evening. It began to pop into my mind when he left for work in the mornings and I had four children waiting for me as I closed the door. I began to ponder it, and pray about what it means, and thus began seeking God’s Word for more clarity. It wasn’t a coincidence that my mind brought this sentence up right before specific situations – it was the Holy Spirit! 

Here is what I found in scripture:

“For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.”

Romans 12:3

“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.”

Galatians 5:16

“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”

Romans 8:28

I began to realize that the attitude I chose toward my husband and my children was actually sinful. It was self-seeking and self-serving and did not follow the command of scripture. Philippians 2:3-4 says, “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” My self pity certainly didn’t fit into this verse. 

Self pity can show up in many ways. We can experience self pity when we receive bad news, aren’t invited, have small finances, can’t lose weight, or feel unnoticed. Our flesh begs for the attention of others. We want people to acknowledge our hardships or difficulties. We want things to be fair. We have this deep need to be validated.

However, if we are children of God, people who are seeking after the Lord Jesus Christ, who have surrendered their lives to His will and purposes, then self pity has no place in our lives. It has no power to control or manipulate. Self pity should be the furthest thing from our minds and mouths if Christ is our King. 

God has a different path for each one of us to take. None of our stories look the same. But whatever our lot, might it be said that it is well with our souls. Might our souls be so firmly rooted in the love and strength and grace of God that we don’t need anyone’s pity because we trust that where we are is exactly where God wants us, and there’s no better place to be. 

Logan Hahn

Logan is a part of our Christ’s Church family and also happens to be married to Spencer, our Men’s Discipleship Minister. She loves writing, reading, baking and raising lovely little women.

Pictured here with her husband, Spencer, and daughters, Campbell, Everett, Gritton and Fayette.

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