Category Archives: Grief

Disproportionate Grief

Disproportionate Grief

Grieving over unfulfilled desires can be legitimate. It can also be self-centered. Generally-speaking, it’s often disproportionate. We all have them, and we’re all guilty at sometimes grieving disproportionately and sinfully.

“There is legitimate grief in deferred hopes and unfulfilled desire for [____________]. But I wouldn’t be honest if I didn’t say that many of my hot tears have been motivated by self-pity more than anything else. I wish the plight of those who reject God would move me as much, but I must confess I’ve not cried as much for their souls as I have for my own desires. Author and pastor John Piper says, ‘Self-pity is the response of pride to suffering.’ Ouch! But so true.” [1]

Sadly, we tend to grieve more for our own temporary discomfort than for those who are on-course to receive eternal damnation. Lord, change our hearts, help us–help me–to be less self-focused and sinfully self-centered. Help us to grieve over lost souls much more than we grieve over the loss or delay of deeply-meaningful, yet temporary graces.

[1] Carolyn McCulley, Did I Kiss Marriage Goodbye (Wheaton: Crossway Books, 2004), 59.

[2] John Piper, Desiring God: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist (Sisters: Multnomah Publishers, 1996), 250: “Self-pity is the response of pride to suffering. Self-pity sounds self-sacrificing. The reason self-pity does not look like pride is that it appears to be needy. But the need arises from a wounded ego [i.e., entitlement], and the desire of the self-pitying is not really for others to see them as helpless, but as heroes. The need self-pity feels does not come from a sense of unworthiness, but from a sense of unrecognized worthiness. It is the response of the unapplauded pride.” (emphasis added)

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