Unsatisfying Sympathy

I wrote this a while ago; oddly enough, it was an especially challenging start to the week and in preparation for my bible study this week, I remembered these thoughts and was convicted.  There was a general clamoring, clawing, and crying for understanding this week, but I think again on this…

Consuming, gut-wrenching passion coupled with sacrificial giving of self and sharpening of character, which I fight so hard against.

Motherhood is the greatest dichotomy I’ve ever known.

At times the temptation is to wallow in the self-pity and frustration of these seemingly endless, thankless tasks; wanting to serve humbly while simultaneously wanting some great acknowledgement of my sacrifices and for Andy (or the boys) to roll out the proverbial red carpet at my accomplishments.

It is wrong.

Not appreciation, that is nice.

Not a little time away, that is refreshing.

Looking for sympathy for the day in day out demands of work; that is wrong (and I succumb to this temptation constantly)!

If we accept the sympathy of another saint, our spontaneous feeling is ‘God is dealing too harshly with me and making my life too difficult.” That is why Jesus said that self-pity was of the devil (see Matthew 16:21-23). Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest.


Yikes. Bold.

Yet, Jesus said it Himself and to whom some would call his closest friend…

It is the interaction when Jesus predicts his death. HIS DEATH!  And upon receiving Peter’s sympathy and outrage (in not grasping the high calling of Jesus’ life & death), “Jesus turns and says to Peter, ‘Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.’”


When I cry out for sympathy, am I entertaining the concerns of God or humanity? Humanity calls of for the acknowledgement and appreciation of everything – our achievements, our hardship – it puts its foot down, demands “ME-time” and fair-work. But…

What are the concerns of God in the work to which He’s called me?

That I constantly recommit to loving my husband well.

That I love, nurture, and care for the growing character of our boys.

That I work to keep a tidy home because, quite frankly, that is just more comfortable and pleasing to live in.

When looking to complete my work for others, it is demanding and overwhelming. When looking to do these things as an act of Worship for my King who has blessed me with the high and virtuous calling of womanhood, it is humbling. Ultimately, sympathy perpetuates dissatisfaction and discourages the satisfaction it is to seek, find, and dwell in Christ! 

Do you struggle with wanting sympathy for your “lot” or unacknowledged efforts? 

~ Becca

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