Pity Party in a Box



Pity Party in a Box




“Poor, poor pitiful me.”




We’ve all been there . . . we all get down from time to time, but throwing ourselves a pity party isn’t the best answer.




Pity parties have become quite common in our instant society. Let me explain. Have you ever heard of “Bed in a Bag”? It’s an easy way to doll up any mattress and frame with pillow cases, a flat sheet, a fitted sheet, an eye-catching comforter, and shams that all come in a bag. Just add a bed, and you are good to go!




“Pity Party in a Box” works much the same way. Just add ME ME ME, and you are good to go. Let’s take a look at Elijah who opened up that box and became the Pity Party Prophet.








Elijah was a great man of God, however even he was not above opening the Pity Party in a Box. Despite being an empowered prophet of God, he wasn’t immune to the “poor, poor pitiful me” syndrome.




Elijah loved God and suffered through trying times. He remained faithful to God during a three-year drought and then defeated 400 prophets of Baal in a spiritual showdown of historic proportions (1 Kings 17-18). He was the prey in a real-life cat and mouse game with an evil couple who reigned over Israel (1Kings 19: 19). From the looks of it, I’d say Elijah had a pretty good reason to throw himself a pity party.




Elijah was afraid and ran for his life. When he came Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there, while he himself went a day’s journey into the desert. He came to a broom tree, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. ‘I have had enough, Lord,’ he said. ‘Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors’” (1 Kings 19: 3-4 NIV).




Elijah happily ripped open Pity Party in a Box and wallowed in hopelessness. So . . . what was in the box that made it so attractive for Elijah to throw such a soiree? (And still sucks believers in today?)




Contents of the Pity Party Box




  • Selfishness – Elijah easily dressed in party clothes of selfishness. It was all about him. HE was afraid. HE left his servant behind. HE had had enough. HE wanted to die.




  • Forgetfulness – Elijah put the party hat of forgetfulness squarely on his head, and it affected his mind! Hadn’t God sent ravens to feed him during a drought? (1 Kings 17: 5). Didn’t God send him to the home of a widow and show Himself mighty in a multitude of ways? (1 Kings 17:7-24). Hadn’t Elijah been protected by God and defeat 400 . . . yes, 400 prophets of Baal on God’s behalf? (1 Kings 18?). Elijah put on that party hat and forgot God.




  • Complaints – It was Elijah’s party and he cried. “Take my life Lord” . . . wah wah. Okay, maybe he didn’t literally cry, but complaining is just as draining for the perpetrator and all those within ear shot.




There may only be three things bundled in the Pity Party in a Box, but they are powerful ingredients! All Elijah had to add to this pitiful event was himself – ME ME ME. In the same way “Bed in a Bag” requires a mattress and frame to complete the desired effect . . . “Pity Party in a Box” needs one disgruntled person.




Don’t Open That Box!!




The best way to avoid a pity party is not to open the box! How can we avoid it when we feel it welling up inside?




  • Trade seFISHness for selfLESSness. When we shine the spotlight on ourselves, we are blinded to the needs of others. When we successfully shine that light on someone else, we become an agent of God and show more concern for others than for ourselves. It’s gratifying to help others and it often jolts us into a better perspective by seeing that things are not as bad as we think.




  • Make an effort to REMEMBER instead of FORGETTING. Elijah got caught up in a moment of misery and forgot all the mighty things God did for him. We do the same thing. We get mad at our husbands for leaving his socks and stuff all over the house, while forgetting all the great things they do like going to work and protecting us. We grumble because our kids won’t pick up themselves and forget what a blessing they are. We don’t need to be door maps, but let’s strive to remember the good things God and others do for us.




  • Exchanges PRAISES for COMPLAINTS. A positive attitude is so much more refreshing than negativity. Sure, we are going to run into frustrating circumstances every day of our lives, but why not adjust our minds to see the positive? Instead of griping about the slow driver that is making you more late, praise God that he put someone in your path that could be preventing an accident or a speeding ticket of becoming part of your day. And always, always praise God . . . not only for what He is DOES for us, praise Him because He is there FOR we. Complaining is the cake that tastes good at first bite, but has a bitter aftertaste. We don’t need a party like that!




Next time you are tempted to open Pity Party in a Box, bury the “poor, poor pitiful me” and open your heart and mind to selflessness, remembrances, and praise.




©2013 Shona Neff




Comments are closed.