Christian Biblical Counsel: SELF-PITY, BROODING

1.   Elijah yielded to self-pity for a time and fled to Horeb.

1 Kings 19.

1 Kings 19:4–5. But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a broom tree. And he prayed that he might die, and said, “It is enough! Now, Lord, take my life, for I am no better than my fathers!” Then as he lay and slept under a broom tree, suddenly an angel touched him, and said to him, “Arise and eat.”

2.   God confronted Elijah.

1 Kings 19:9. And there he went into a cave, and spent the night in that place; and behold, the word of the Lord came to him, and He said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”

3.   Listen to Elijah’s self-pity.

1 Kings 19:10. So he said, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God of hosts; for the children of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars, and killed Your prophets with the sword. I alone am left; and they seek to take my life.”

4.   God dealt with Elijah’s problem.

1 Kings 19:11–18.

5.   Asaph, the psalmist, also fell into the sin of self-pity for a time.

Ps. 73.

6.   Listen to Asaph’s self-pity.

Ps. 73:13–14. Surely I have cleansed my heart in vain, And washed my hands in innocence. For all day long I have been plagued, And chastened every morning.

7.   Asaph recovered from his self-pity.

Ps. 73:15–28.

8.   The Lord directs us to a cure for self-pity.

Ps. 37.

9.   Turn from self-pity.

Prov. 15:13. A merry heart makes a cheerful countenance, But by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.

10. Jonah became angry and was filled with self-pity, for which God rebuked him.

Jonah 4:1–4.

Jonah 4:3–4. “Therefore now, O Lord, please take my life from me, for it is better for me to die than to live!” Then the Lord said, “Is it right for you to be angry?”[1]


[1] Kruis, J. G. (1994). Quick scripture reference for counseling (electronic ed.). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House.

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