If anyone has reason to feel self-pity, it would be a prisoner of the Gestapo. But later in life, Corrie ten Boom reflected on when the Gestapo soldiers forced her and her family into a prison van for harboring Jews during World War II: “In my mind I kept telling myself, ‘Don’t ever feel sorry for yourself.’”
I don’t live with that same noble aim. I’m not above feeling sorry for myself when my weekend plans fall through (or when I don’t have any plans to begin with) or I don’t have time to do the things I want to do.
It isn’t hard to find reasons to feel sorry for yourself once you start looking. Like a twisted form of FOMO, self-pity harps on what we don’t have that others usually do. It tells us we have it worse than we deserve — or at least not as good as other people have it. As Corrie later wrote in “Tramp for the Lord”: “Self-pity is a nasty sin, and the devil uses it and always starts his talks with ‘Poor…