Eating Worms - 5 Ways to Fight Self-Pity

Nobody likes me.
Everybody hates me.
Guess I’ll go eat worms.

Ever sung that song as a child? How about as an adult? Be honest.

How about the day you found out that two of your best friends did something fun together and didn’t include you?

Or the day the dog threw up on the carpet and you stepped in it in the dark?

Or the day you saw on Facebook that Joan has a new car, Patty has a cute haircut, and Sandy’s husband just surprised her with a trip to Hawaii?

And did I mention that they have perfect kids, kind in-laws, and a maid that comes in twice a month?

Yup, time to eat worms,

Sing the chorus of Hee Haw, – “If I didn’t have no bad luck, I’d have no luck at all. Gloom, despair, and agony on me!”

and wallow in self-pity. 

Now before you get too comfortable in the universal emotion of self-pity, I have to warn you.

Self-pity is sin.
Oswald Chambers in My Utmost for His Highest, goes a step further: “Beware of allowing self-consciousness to continue because by slow degrees it will awaken self-pity, and self –pity is Satanic.”

 As I pondered this shocking statement, I found at least

5 Reasons Self-Pity Is a Sin:

1.  Self-pity implies that God exists to serve me. If I’m unhappy, then he isn’t serving me to my satisfaction.

2.  Self-pity implies that I, instead of God, know what will make me happy, fulfilled, content, and godly.

3.  Self-pity’s root is an ungrateful heart.

4.  Self-pity leads to murmuring, complaining, and an exalted sense of self.

5.  Self-pity is focused inwardly rather than outwardly.

If there was ever a man in Scripture who deserved the right to wallow in self-pity, it was Job. Facing the death of his children, the loss of his fortune, the decline of his health, and the betrayal of his wife and friends, Job was drowning in self-pity. One encounter with God, however, turned Job’s self-pity in to praise. 
Here are 

5 Ways to Combat Self-Pity

Photo Courtesy of Kristen Hatcher
1.  Remember that God is all-powerful and fully in control of the circumstances of our lives.
 “Then Job replied to the LORD: ‘I know that you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted.’ ” (Job 42:1).

2.  Remember that God is all-wise and knows what’s best for us. We can trust him.
“The LORD said to Job, ‘Will the one who contends with the Almighty correct him? Let him who accuses God answer him!’" (Job 40:1-2).

3.  Remember that God is more concerned about our holiness than our happiness.
“No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it” (Hebrews 12:11).

4.  Remember that every good and perfect gift comes from God. Even in the darkest times, we have much to be thankful for (James 1:17).

5.  Remember that this world is not all there is. As we respond in faith to God, especially in the hard times, we are banking faith rewards in Heaven.
“For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal”(2 Corinthians 4:17).

The next time we’re tempted to indulge in self-pity, instead of looking long and hard at ourselves, may we choose instead to fix our eyes on God.
“My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes” (Job 42:5-6).

What are some ways you combat the sin of self-pity? I invite you to join the conversation by leaving a comment in the box below.

May God richly bless you as you seek to glorify HIM!

If you've never heard the "Guess I'll Go Eat Worms" song, here's Alex's version:

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  1. I love this post! It reminds me of a talk by Jeffrey Holland called Labourers In The Vineyard. He talks about how we should be grateful we have been called into the Lord's vineyard, and not get upset when the Lord blesses us all differently

    1. Jean, that's a great perspective, and one we'd all do well to keep in mind. Dr. Jerry Falwell said something similar: "If God never did another thing for me after he saved me, I'd still be forever in his debt." Thanks so much for commenting and sharing the great link!

  2. Anonymous8:21 AM

    One very effective way to combat self-pity is to do something for someone else. There is joy in serving others, and it can lift our eyes from ourselves to bless another in His name. We cannot "out-love" God, so we end up grateful for His love for us.

    1. I've found that to be very true. Once we get our eyes off ourselves and on someone else, we forget what we were whining over! Thanks so much for joining the conversation today :)

  3. Whoo-boy. I've been eating worms a good bit lately. All I have to do is look back at my facebook statuses from the past week. Thank you for this gentle reminder! Thanks for linking up at Thrive @ Home!

  4. Audra Michelle, you're not alone, girlfriend. Mea culpa! Mea culpa! Like Beth Moore is famous for saying, "I only teach what the Lord's been teaching me. . . " so you can guess where this post came from :) Thanks so much for visiting today.

  5. I swim in self-pity half the time:) This list of truths to use when feeling self-pity is great! Thanks for sharing from your heart.

    1. Christina,

      Yup, I think we're all there sometimes. May our grumbling hearts turn to gratitude, bringing glory to God as we go. (Say that 5 times fast:) Thanks for stopping by today.

  6. My own blog post from today is all about my eating of worms. Thank you is about all I can say right now.

    1. Kelly, 'tis a universal temptation. Very me-focused. Lord, may we all get our eyes off ourselves and trained squarely on you!

  7. Such a great reminder ... I love your connections to the "Guess I'll Go Eat Worms" song. And the video is adorable! Deb @

    1. Deb, Thanks so much for stopping by. Sometimes God uses the "mouths of babes" to connect the dots for us :)

  8. This is such a slippery slope--this need to pity myself. I often don't realize the destructiveness until I've slid down into a real pit of mud and mire! These are great words of wisdom, Lori. Thanks so much for sharing! :)

    1. Boy, Beth, you're right about the slippery slope. And half the time, we don't even realize we're trudging around in the mud until we're half way down the hill. Thanks so much for stopping by :)

  9. Lori, This is really good in so many ways. I actually think this would make a good Bible study as well as a good post. And I've struggled with self-pity lately so I need to go through these verses personally. I also love your musical affects : )
    When I saw your picture of worms, I have to tell you it reminded me of the jello worms (jello in straws)I tried to make for my granddaughters after seeing them on another blog. They turned out terrible...just a big mess of jello all over my kitchen. Although I thought it was funny, something about my jello worms especially fits the self-pity theme. : )

    1. Gail, I'm chuckling over the mental picture of your jello worms and wondering if God shakes his head at us in much the same way when we choose to eat worms instead of feasting on his goodness. Foolish children we are some days. . .

  10. Brilliant post. I hope you don't mind if I link it with my Inspiring Posts page?

    1. Thank you, Wendy, I'd be delighted to encourage another group of friends. Blessings to you!

  11. This may be hitting just a little too close to home for me! One of my best friends is laying on a beach in Cancun with her cute pink toe nails, having daily spa treatments, and continually capturing her fun-filled fourth vacation antics on facebook... While I'm stuck back here eating worms! Thank you! It's definitely time for an attitude adjustment! (Your little guy's adorable, but now I can't get this song out of my head!!) Great post!

    1. Oh, Mary, you made me laugh out loud -- REALLY! Sorry about the worm song curse. . . just one more thing to feel sorry about, really :) May God remind us both how good he is to us! Thanks so much for stopping by.

  12. I used to sing that song all the time! I think #5 on why self-pity is a sin sums it up well...self pity is by definition self focused. That's a problem. Thanks for linking up with WIP!

  13. I've been stuck in this sin for awhile now. I'm very depressed about how my life turned out. I need an attitude adjustment. I need God's help to get out of it.

    1. You're right, Angela, it's only God who can help us climb out of the pit of self-pity. I've found that to be true many times in my own life. It's so much easier to wallow than to worship, but remembering to begin each day with thanks for his good gifts is a good place to start. May you find HIS joy in each new day. Thanks so much for stopping by.

  14. Great thoughts here, Lori. Appreciate you sharing at heart+home. :)
    - lauren

  15. 2 Corinthians 4:17 is one of my very favorite verses. Thanks for the reminder on desisting from self-pity. We women are especially prone to that !

  16. Thank you Lori. This is an excellent reminder to us adults. It is so easy to slip into the attitude of complaining.

    I stopped over because you linked up next to me over at Mom's the Word.

  17. Good for me to read today. Thanks.