Hubby and I headed to dinner with our good friends, chatting about life.

“There were helicopters and police cars all around our neighborhood” they said. “Police stood outside with bullhorns ordering to stay indoors.”

“Oh my, what or who were they looking for?” I wanted to know.

“A bull.”

A bull? Although we do not live in the wild, Wild West, one had gotten loose from a nearby pasture.

“I was tempted to put on my robe and head outside to check things out,” my friend said.

“Not a good idea,” my hubby said, “especially if the robe was red—a sure target for the bull.”

We all laughed. But that night, that scenario played in my mind.

I had been that target years ago, wearing the red robe of self-pity. And Satan, the bull loose in the world, was roaming around looking for his prey.
I was the perfect target with my poor-me thinking and my self-imposed ideas that my life was done just because I lost my sight. No doubt I made it easy for the enemy to charge mercilessly.

But since then, something changed. Jesus changed me. And, rather than be a target, I chose to be triumphant instead.

Do you know anyone like that? If so, here are three things that we must never do when self-pity roams around in the neighborhood of our heart.

1. Never give in to the notion that life is too hard. Never lose your focus. Instead, “Be well balanced (temperate, sober of mind), be vigilant and cautious at all times; for that enemy the devil roams around like a lion (in fierce hunger) seeking someone to seize upon and devour.” (1 Peter 5:8 [AMP])

2. Never rely on your own power or abilities. Rather, “be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.” (Ephesians 6:10)

3. Never believe the lie that God’s help is only momentary. For your soul declares: “teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.” (Psalm 24:4)

Father, thank you that with you, the victory over the enemy is possible. When moments of discouragement invade my heart, self-pity will not consume me as I know you are my guide all day long and you are mighty to defend me during the night. In Jesus’s name I pray, amen.

• What threatens your peace these days?

• How do you fight discouragement?

• Have you declared your triumph over self-pity?

Janet P. Eckles

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