Recently, I have diagnosed myself with a condition. I have what I'm calling Saturday Depression. I know this sounds ridiculous, but it's true for me. Because my husband is a farmer, he works most Saturdays. He works during the week as well, as most husbands do, and I'm ok with this. But on Saturday, as I see pictures of others on Facebook having fun family days, I find myself depressed by my situation. A symptom of this "condition" is self pity. And when I throw myself this Saturday pity party, I use excuses to decorate!
You know what I'm talking about! The bad self-talk (or even out loud talk) that comes as a result of a bad attitude. I tell myself, "My husband would rather work than spend time with me," or "Everyone else is having amazing, exciting adventures this weekend while I'm stuck at home doing the same thing I did all week." These are just some examples of the excuses I tell myself, so I can feel justified in my bad attitude and anger at the world.
In my mind, I know I am choosing to believe lies. I know I am choosing to wallow in self-pity. I know I am allowing my circumstances to steal my joy. But if you are like me, you struggle to turn it around. I know I should be joyful, but how do I flip the switch?
I recently came across a verse in the Bible that spells it out for me. It gives me some advice on how to make the change from pouty to positive. Here it is: Psalm 42:5, "Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise Him again - my Savior and my God!"
This verse gives me three ideas to apply and reflect on.
1. Put your hope in God! I cannot rely on my husband or family or friends to give me a hopeful attitude. I surely cannot rely on this world or our current circumstances. But when I acknowledge that God is my only true source of hope, I know I have no reason to feel depressed. We can hope in God because He is always faithful. That is part of His character. 2 Timothy 2:13 says, "If we are unfaithful, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny who he is." He says He will never leave us nor forsake us. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. If we believe this, we can have confident hope every day!
2. Praise Him again (and again and again)! When we praise God for who He is and for all He has done for us, our small and temporary problems disappear. "Count your blessings, name them one by one. Count your blessings see what God has done." The author of this hymn knew what he was talking about. When faced with life's struggles and hardships, naming and praising what God has already done is one sure way to stop your pity party. It is just like giving your testimony to yourself! Sometimes, that is just what needs to be done. Testimonies are meant to be told, even if it is just to yourself.
3. Your Savior and Your God is for you! You have the maker of the universe living within your heart. His love for you is so great that His only son died for you. He is always with you, fighting whatever battle you are facing at the moment. Romans 8:31 says, "If God is for us, who can ever be against us?" We must change our negative self-talk to the positive, life-affirming words of scripture. Meditate on scriptures that encourage your heart, and the darkness self-pity will surely fade away in the light of His word.
So, living abundantly means no excuses (not even to yourself!). Excuses are traded for encouragement. Pity is replaced by praise. And our bad attitudes are resurrected by the very one who was resurrected from the grave.
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